DOBSON — Opening day for the 2017 Senior Games events turned out nearly 100 senior citizens.
Monday morning senior citizens 55 and older gathered at Fisher River Park for the opening of the Yadkin Valley Senior Games.
“Monday’s are not fun, but we are going to have fun this Monday,” said local Senior Games coordinator Bradley Key.
After a brief opening speech in which he welcomed competitors, Key took the time to remember one long-time participant, Felicity MacGrain, who passed away last November.
“She was such a great spirit and joy to be around,” said Key. “Felicity will be missed this year.”
Senior Games provides opportunities for seniors, grouped into age brackets, to participate in athletically challenging events such as track and field, swimming or cycling.
“We also host other events that are less physically demanding,” added Key. Those events include art contests and dancing.
“It’s performing, literacy, visual, heritage or athletic,” said Key. “It’s really something for everyone.”
Surry County Commissioner Larry Johnson also welcomed those who came to participate and those who came to spectate in the events.
“It’s really a great thing, and I am glad to see such a good turnout for the event,” stated Johnson.
Johnson also mentioned the games could not have began on a better day, mentioning the sunny skies and light breeze, after recent stormy weather cancelled the previously scheduled opening ceremony.
Juanita Gillespie was up next to sing God Bless America before the torch was lit and the events officially began.
Following, to the left of the amphitheater stage, Bob Keck, senior games ambassador lead the flame across the audience to right-of-stage. In a traditional march up the ladder, the torch was lit and senior games began.
The “fun walk” followed the opening ceremony, while score keepers were given a brief explanation of how the first game of the event, cornhole, was played.
For the next event at Fisher River Park on Wednesday, the game of croquet is one of the newer games added, explained Key.
“It’s one of those games who everyone always says, ‘I used to play that,’ and now we offer that opportunity,” said Key.
Sign-ups for Senior Games begin each year in the beginning of March through March 31.
“We enjoy new faces each year and encourage everyone to come out and have fun,” said Key.
Reach Eva Winemiller at (336) 415-4739