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The 28th Annual High Country Senior Games Returns to the High Country to Provide a Great Time for Seniors

Presented by Watauga County Parks and Recreation, Watauga County Project on Aging, Avery Senior Services, Ashe Senior Center, Yancey Senior Center, Mitchell Senior Center, Region D Area on Aging, the High Country Senior Games will be hitting the High Country with full force.

Starting on May 1, the 28th Annual High Country Senior Games returns to the High Country to promote health and physical fitness, along with a good time, for the senior residents in our community.

“It is the holistic approach to the mental, emotional, physical and social wellness of the seniors in the High Country,” Paul Krause, local coordinator of the Senior Games, said. “It’s something that we do every year for them.”

To be eligible to participate in the High Country Senior Games, an individual must be 50 or older by December 31, 2017 and own property in or be a resident of Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey or Ashe county for a minimum of 3 months out of the year.

“We really want to change the mindset of what people consider seniors,” Krause said. “When people think of seniors, they think of frowns, frumpy, sitting around being quiet and a terrible environment, and that’s not the case at all.”

According to Krause, when people think of seniors, they should think of laughter, happiness, moving around and being physically active and mentally present.

“You don’t stop playing because you grow old,” Krause said, “you grow old because you stop playing.”

The age group you get put in is determined by your age on December 31, 2017. Men and women compete in separate categories in the following five year age groups: 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89, 90-94, 95-99, 100+. For doubles and team events, the category will be determined based on the age of the youngest participant. 

Registration on or before May 1 will be at a discounted price of $10; otherwise, registration is $15. You must register no less than 3 days prior to the first event you are wanting to participate in. Registration will only be accepted after May 1 based on open spaces for the events. The entry fee covers all events except for a facility fee charged for the following: golf – $26, bowling – $9.50/event, mini golf – $6 and banquet – $10 ($15 at the door). These facility fees will be paid on site the day of the event.

To register to participate in the Senior Games, fill out the entry form and submit it with complete payment. You will be contacted by mail May 5, and if you haven’t been contacted by then, call 828-264-9511.

Tickets are available in advance for the Senior Games Grand Celebration Banquet for $10 ($15 at the door) that will be held on June 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock.  There will be special performances by your very own High Country Silver Artist.

Along with this, there will also be a Breakfast for Champions on May 5 at 8 a.m. at the Appalachian Brian Estates to kick off the Senior Games. Breakfast is free for all those who are registered to participate in the Games. SilverArts entries will be displayed at the breakfast, as well. Please RSVP to Paul Krause by May 1 by calling 828-264-9511.

Check in will begin at your first event. Participants must check in a ½ hour prior to competing in his/her first event. At check-in, participants will receive a shirt, registration packet and schedule of events.

The types of events that will be offered during the Senior Games fall into these categories: individual sports (such as basketball shooting, shot-put, jumping, throws, running, cycling and golf), swimming, team sports (basketball), bowling, special events, tennis and tournament sports (such as billiards, cornhole, croquet, pickleball, table tennis, shuffleboard and racquetball).

There will also be a SilverArts category which includes events in the fields of performing arts, literary arts, visual arts and contemporary arts in which seniors involved in the Senior Games can participate.

“We have anything from competitive athletic events to recreational social events to art events,” Krause said. “If there is something a senior can do, they can do it with us.”

Participants are required to supply their own equipment for golf, tennis, pickleball and racquetball. Official medals will be presented to the 1, 2 and 3 place finalists in each category in each sport and SilverArts event.

“It’s honestly just about getting seniors involved,” Krause said. “It’s important, and I know this works to help them in a variety of different ways.”

For more information about the requirements, event specification and registration, call 828-264-9511.