June 1, 2013
Senior Games return
Celebrating its 31st year of competition, the 2013 Empire State Senior Games are scheduled to open Sunday and will continue throughout the following Saturday, drawing in over 1,100 participants from all over the state.
The event has been organized by the Cortland Regional Sports Council for the past two years and this year marks its third.
The Senior Games began at SUNY Cortland in 1983, moved to Syracuse in 1996, then returned to Cortland in 2001 after athletes petitioned to move it back.
Machell Phelps, the executive director of the council, said this year they received a record number of participants for the volleyball teams and the pickleball competition.
“Last year we broke a record of participants for volleyball, but this year we beat that record,” Phelps said. “We have 31 teams typically comprised of seven to 10 individuals per team.”
Pickleball drew in a record number of competitors that surpassed swimming, and track and field registrants.
“For the past few years we continue to learn from previous years’ competitions,” Phelps said.
“Hopefully, we can continue to depend on our volunteers and local organizations.”
The opening barbecue ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Central New York Living History Museum.
According to Phelps, there were only 20 volunteers as of Friday and organizers were looking for more to help officiate, keep score, hand out water and other tasks.
“In addition, we are in need of volunteers to assist with the medal ceremony on Saturday the 8th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Phelps said.
Those interested in volunteering can call 607-756-1864 for more information.
The Senior Games is an athletic competition for individuals age 50 and older.
The 24 sports include golf, track and field, badminton, pickleball, volleyball and swimming.
Events will take place on the SUNY Cortland campus, Walden Oaks Country Club, the Cort-Lanes bowling alley and the Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture.
After each event, competitors participate in a medal ceremony and results are posted online.
The website for information on the Senior Games — www.nyseniorgames.com — was constructed and is being hosted by Plan First Technologies of Cortland.
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