Senior Games eyes a record-breaking 30th year

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, January 25, 2023

By Carrie Miller

Davie Senior Services

Davie County Senior Games began in 1993 through the Town of Mocksville Recreation Department and has been going strong ever since.

This year brings the 30th season of Davie County Senior Games and SilverArts celebration. Senior Games and SilverArts is a creative outlet and competition for adults age 50 and older to become involved in the community, share with others, and tjust have fun.

There is no limit to how many activities in which a senior may participate. The $15 registration fee includes two meals, most events, and a t-shirt.

Senior Services will hold a Senior Games Kickoff on Friday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. in the Brock Gym. Call 336-753-6230 to register and make plans to stop by and pick up a registration form.

A sponsor will pay for the first 10 people who register in the age group of 50-59.

Ambassadors help to promote the games.  They include: Alice Barnette, Bud Stroud, Roni Barney, Mary Hall, Lois Green, Peggy Evans, Ted Freshwater, Vickie Frye, Sandi Winston and John Bullins. This group meets several times throughout the year to make sure the games aare the best they can be.

Here is what some of them have to say.

What year did you begin playing Senior Games?

Barnette: 1994 or 1995./

Barney: At least 15 years ago. I learned about Senior Games through the SilverStriker’s Bowling League and played the next season and never quit.

Evans: At least 15 or more years ago.

Stroud: 2005

Why did you begin playing Senior Games?

Barnette: Basketball.They put together a basketball team.

Barney: To give me something to do, to meet people, and to try something new.

Evans: I was interested in all of the games and the social aspect. I had recently retired and stopped playing softball and loved the exercise aspect of Senior Games.

Stroud: Dr. Kimberly started talking about it at the Bowling League events, and I started the next spring.

What is your favorite Senior Games event?

Barnette: All of them, even trying the running events.

Barney: Shuffleboard. And, I didn’t even play this until Senior Games.

Evans: Cornhole.

Stroud: When I first started, I really enjoyed bowling and horseshoes, but now I like them all. I didn’t even know how to play a lot of the games until Senior Games.

What is your favorite Senior Games memory?

Barnette: The first year the basketball team won Silver at the N.C.State Finals and realized they were able to go to the National Senior Games. That was the best time I’ve ever had at a Nationals event.

Barney: Falling down bowling and rolling a strike…. Right after I told everyone they needed to be careful and watch out for the slick floors. It was hilarious.

Evans: I have several memories, first being the first time I finally won a gold medal at the state finals. Second, I love when we’ve been to Clayton and enjoyed sharing food and meeting new people. Lastly, the most hilarious memory was when Roni Barney and I went to the State Finals, and we were bowling with ladies from another county. One lady had gone to her attic to get her bowling shoes, and when she went to bowl, her shoe fell apart, and she lost her shoe. Her shoes had dry-rotted. It was so much fun.

Stroud: My first year participating in the State Finals and meeting people from across the state and creating friendships, so then after that, every year feels like a homecoming.

What would you tell someone that is hesitant about joining Senior Games?

Barnette: If you’ll just come out and participate, you might catch the bug and find out that you love it.

Barney: It’s not about competition – it’s about having fun.

Evans: I tell them how much fun it is and that they will have fun, too. Most people really enjoy it. Just be optimistic.

Stroud: You don’t have to compete with people younger than you. You just compete against people in your own age group.

Is Senior Games more about the competition or camaraderie?

Barnette: Camaraderie. I love being with people.

Barney: Camaraderie. But, it doesn’t hurt to win.

Evans: Camaraderie.I really like to compete, but it really is about the people I’m with.

Stroud: Camaraderie. There are a few people out there who are strictly for medals, but the majority play for the friendships along the way.

Why are Senior Games important to you?

Barnette: To be around people that aren’t complaining because if you’re participating in Senior Games, you are laughing, having fun, and enjoying.

Barney: I loved sports as a child, but was never able to compete in sports due to transportation issues. So, now this is my opportunity to live my second childhood.

Evans: My husband, Steve, and I participate in Senior Games together. It is really special that he comes with me, and we both really enjoy it.

Stroud: I’m an extrovert and a people person. I really enjoy getting together and enjoying the fellowship.

What is your advice to someone who says they can’t do it because they’re too old?

Barnette: Age is just a figure of speech or something in your mind. You don’t know until you try… just like a baby learning to walk.

Barney: Look at Mrs. Nancy Tutterow. She’s 99 and having her best bowling season.

Evans: You’re never too old to try these sports. None are really that strenuous. You’re really never too old, just look at Mrs. Nancy.

Stroud: You don’t get too old. I threw the softball 115 feet and earned 2nd place that year. I went back ten years later and threw the softball 90 feet and still earned 2nd place.

What is your advice to someone that has recently turned 50 and can play for the first time?

Barnette: Do it if your work schedule allows you to participate. Take half days if you can.

Barney: I started in my 50s and was called a baby Senior Games participant. This will be the only time you get to be called a baby again. But on a serious note, if your schedule allows it, why not.

Evans: Come out and join us and see if you like it. Just try it.

Stroud: If any way possible, get out there and do it. It will keep you younger. It’s a really good time, and you will enjoy it.

Davie Senior Services is aiming for another record-high Senior Games and SilverArts season. Contact Senior Services at 336-753-6230 or stop by the main campus at 278 Meroney St., Mocksville or the Brock Campus at 644 N. Main St., Mocksville.