MICHELLE T. BERNARD
Lincoln County’s inaugural Senior Games kicked off on Thursday at the Lincoln Cultural Center with the heritage, literary and visual arts division of the Silver Arts component of the games. Categories of this competition included woodcarving, needlework, quilting, pottery, painting, photography and literary.
Libby Mize of Lincolnton has been entering Senior Games competitions for many years but, up until this year, she had to go to the Cleveland, Gaston or Mecklenburg County games.
“At the games we get to meet people and talk to them about common interests,” she said. “We compare notes and there’s a great variety of things that we can do. The other counties were great to invite us but I love that we have our own now. We travelled a long way for years and it will be great to see Lincoln County on our medals this year.”
The Preforming Arts/Follies component of Silver Arts was held on Saturday, also at the Cultural Center, with musicians, dancers and cheerleaders entertaining the audience.
The Lincoln County Senior Games have received more than 75 entries for the various competitions, held through May 16. The games are sanctioned by the North Carolina Senior Games, a statewide network of more than 50 local games that are held annually to qualify participants for the state finals.
There will be many different athletic events beginning with the March 25 opening ceremony including bowling, badminton, golf, corn hole, pickleball, swimming, cycling, archery, basketball, baseball, disc golf and track and field.
Local Senior Games are held in the spring of each year and the qualifiers are invited to participate each fall in the Senior Games State Finals held in Raleigh, according to local coordinator Drew Chance. Every two years, the state finals winners qualify to represent North Carolina at the National Senior Games.
“I was always shy when I was younger and it’s taken all these years to get over this shyness,” said Jim Gantt, a Lincolnton resident who competed in Performing Arts/Follies on Saturday. “Music has helped me do that and I enjoy performing now.”
For information about volunteering or sponsorships, contact Chance at (704) 748-1518. All heritage, literary, and visual arts entries will remain on exhibit at the Lincoln Cultural Center, located at 403 East Main Street in Lincolnton, through March 31.