Earlier this spring, over 1,300 competitors gathered to participate in the 8th annual Bay Area Senior Games; a month-long tournament to promote healthy, active lifestyles for adults over the age of 50.
The Games offer individuals a chance to compete in 25 different activities ranging from team sports, to various individual events such as archery, cycling, and fencing. Athletes from all over the Bay trained for months in order to prepare for this year’s competition. The core of the Games took place at Stanford University; participants had access to their world-class athletic facilities, as well as a myriad of other tracks, fields, and gyms spread throughout the Bay Area.
The Bay Area Senior Games began in 2006 as a way to test events for the 2009 Summer National Senior Games. Because of its success, the California Senior Games Association (CSGA) instituted it as an annual event for Bay Area athletes. The CSGA hosts multiple events per year ranging from winter sport competitions in Bear Valley, to qualifying rounds for the Summer National Senior Games in Sonoma county.
One of the most honored traditions at the start of the Games is the Solar Torch Relay. Among the selected runners this year was Barbara Higgins, a Panamanian fencer from the 1984 Olympics. “The Senior Games competitors, like the torch that was specially designed for them, are trailblazers and shining examples of how ingenuity, effort, perseverance and vision create a vital new paradigm that promotes health and sustainability for people and the planet.”
For those determined athletes who didn’t have the chance to participate in the Bay Area Senior Games this past summer, the CSGA will be hosting a Second Chance Qualifying round from November 8-10 in various locations throughout the Bay Area for the 2015 Summer National Senior Games. To sign up or learn more information about the Encore Games, visit their website here.
The Bay Area Senior Games are a local tradition that not only promote camaraderie and sportsmanship among seasoned competitors, but also urge seniors to maintain healthy lifestyles. To these athletes, the competition will never end; long live the challenge.