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For those over 50, North Tx Senior Games a chance to compete
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Filed under Public Information on Monday, May 07, 2018 by Author: Public Information.

Age does not always take away a competitive spirit, but opportunities to nourish that spirit are hard to come by in the Wichita Falls area.

The North Texas Senior Games will give anyone age 50 and older the chance to participate in athletic games and other activities including basketball, billiards, bowling, dominoes/42, cycling (5k, 10k, 20k time trials), golf, horseshoes, pickleball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, and washers. The games will be held May 18-20 at Midwestern State University and other venues.

The games are returning to North Texas after a 10-year break. The first North Texas Senior Games were held in 1994 with 12 sports, which included basketball, swimming, horseshoes, and a fishing rodeo. A group of community leaders wanted an event geared toward active adults who were still interested in competing. Partnerships with Village Bowl, Weeks Golf Course, Wichita Falls Independent School District, Hotter ’n Hell Hundred, and the YMCA were formed that first year. The first three-day event was a success and it became a staple of the fall in Wichita Falls until 2007, the last year for the games.

Sandy Shawver, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at MSU Texas, and organizer of the games, chose the senior games as the subject of her doctoral research. She worked with the National Senior Games Association (NSGA), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting activities that help adults lead an active lifestyle, to gather data and complete her research. NSGA is the parent organization of the Texas Senior Games.

After earning her doctorate while working at MSU Texas, Shawver knew it was time to bring the games back to Wichita Falls. In fall 2016 a committee was formed of MSU faculty, staff and administrators to plan for the games’ relaunch. “Those who were involved in the past were excited to get back into it,” Shawver said. Additional sponsors include KFDX-TV, Lunn’s Colonial Funeral Home, and T-Mobile.

Last May, a one-day Senior Sports Festival was held on the MSU Texas campus and at Village Bowl to re-introduce the games to the Wichita Falls community. Basketball, bowling, horseshoes, pickleball, table tennis, and tennis were among the events in which those older than age 50 could compete. Shawver said that pickleball is the nation’s fastest growing sport. It is played on a badminton-sized court with a Wiffle ball and paddles. “It’s easy to learn and a great way to maintain eye-hand coordination,” Shawver said.

Last year’s event was small but it did fan the flames to get a full slate of events for 2018. Although the North Texas Senior Games are currently not qualifying events for the Texas Senior Games, Shawver said that they would be excellent practice for those interested in competing at a higher level.

Shawver said that many of the registered participants are from out of town, and that’s a plus for MSU Texas and other venues hosting events. “We’ll have people from all across the state seeing the MSU Texas campus,” she said.

Registration runs until May 13. The registration fee is $25, which includes an event shirt, two event entries and the athlete social. Registering for more than two events will require an additional $4 fee per event (except for golf). There is an additional of $20 for all golf participants. Additional event shirts may be purchased for $10 each. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in each event and age group.

For more information contact Shawver at 940-397-4941 or visit ntsg.mwsu.edu/ or texasseniorgames.org/.



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