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Visalia Parks & Rec hopes to continue to grow competition for athletes over the age of 50

Visalia Parks & Rec hopes to continue to grow competition for athletes over the age of 50

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – Seniors from throughout the state, and in some cases much further, will gather in Visalia next week to compete in the third annual Visalia Senior Games.

The Visalia Senior Games aim to provide excellent conditions for seniors who seek a competitive environment along with the camaraderie of other athletes. Created under the umbrella of the California Senior Games Association (CSGA), the Visalia Senior Games promote healthy, active lifestyles for adults ages 50 and better.

This year’s Visalia Senior Games will be held March 10-11 at various locations throughout the city. Events include: 3200 meter run, archery, bowling, disc golf, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, 1500 meter race/walk, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, track and field, trap shooting, volleyball.

The Visalia Senior Games was the first Senior Games in the Central Valley when it opened in 2015. More than 237 athletes competed in the first games, a number that grew to 500 last year with a goal of reaching 800 participants this year.

Visalia Mayor Warren Gubler, who plans to compete in pickleball and track and field, noted in his welcome message on the web site that there were three seniors in their 90’s who competed in last year’s events. Originally held in October, the games are now held in March, making them the earliest games on the senior game circuit in California this year.

“I can’t believe we’re already old pros at this; ready to host our Third Annual Visalia Senior Games,” Gubler quipped in his welcome. “Now that we have some experience under our belts, we are continuing to refine our athletic events and look forward to some great competition.”

Registration for the 2018 Visalia Senior Games is now open. Individuals and teams can register online at www.visaliaseniorgames.com, or in person at the Anthony Community Center, 345 N. Jacob St. in Visalia. Fax registration forms to 559-713-4819 or mail them to: Visalia Parks & Recreation, 345 N. Jacob St., Visalia, CA  93291.

There will also be two special events including a kick-off barbecue mixer from 3-6 p.m. on March 10 at Plaza Park and a Texas Hold ’Em poker tournament from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, March 17 at Valley Oaks Golf Course. Tournament buy-in is $15. Register at the Anthony Community Center, 345 N. Jacob St. in Visalia.

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