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Rotary club planning Senior Olympics for fall

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

 

HILLSVILLE  — Bowling, tennis, softball throw, horseshoes, basketball free throw  — there should be something for everyone over age 50 in the planned Twin County Senior Olympics.
While plans for the Sept. 14-15 events remain tentative, attractions run the gamut from archery competitions to the bean bag toss game known as corn hole to ladder golf and actual golf.
The impetus for the senior olympics comes from the Hillsville Rotary Club, which also provided significant support to the drive to open the Carroll Wellness Center years ago. Rotarian Dennis Ward called the effort a “signature project” for the club, “that would benefit folks in our community and one that could continue on in the future. h
While the Carroll Recreation Department has a variety of programs for youth, there’s nothing directed at senior citizens. This would provide activities for that demographic.
Early plans called for the games to begin Sept. 14 with golf at the Galax municipal course, bowling at Blue Ridge Lanes in Galax, basketball free throw at the Carroll Wellness Center and archery in Grayson County.
On Sept. 15, participants will gather together at Tommy Thompson field at Carroll County High School for a day’s worth of activities.
The day will begin with gold medal winners from Friday carrying the senior olympics flame to the football field, with an opening ceremony to follow.
Except for horseshoes at the wellness center, a majority of events will happen at the high school that day.
A dinner and awards ceremony will close the games.
Participants will pay a $25 registration fee for most of the events, except for bowling and golf. All will receive a T-shirt, lunch, dinner and a goodie bag from local businesses.
Each of the 12 events will have multiple age groups competing, both men and women. The top competitors will receive gold, silver and bronze medals, according to how they place in each category.
Ward said it’s a large organizational effort. “We need people in the community to promote it and tell others about it and a lot of volunteers to make it work and we need people to participate."
Rotary will donate to the olympics, he said. Organizers have also approached Carroll, Grayson and Galax officials for financial help.
Rotary also hopes to have sponsorships, similar to those for golf tournaments.
Ward has heard enthusiasm for these ideas and has received the cooperation of many parties, including the Carroll administrator’s office, the school system, the department of recreation and tourism and the wellness center board of directors.
The local games could lead to citizens participating in the Virginia Senior Games next year.
“It’ll be just a good day of fun and fellowship, but it will also be to promote our area and to promote a healthy lifestyle,” Ward said.