senior games

The Wildcats cheerleading squad (l-r) Cathy Turman, Debbie Putnam and Donita Davis won silver at the 2018 Senior Games state finals held in Raleigh. 

Lincoln County Senior Services is gearing up to kick off the registration period for the 2019 Senior Games on Friday. Staff will be on hand to answer questions about the games and, hopefully, generate some excitement.

According to their website, the North Carolina Senior Games (NCSG) started in 1983 as a way to promote a year round health and education program for North Carolina residents aged 50 and older. NCSG now has 52 local games programs and over 60,000 participants.

This will be the third year that Senior Games have been held in the county. It’s a cooperative effort between Lincoln County Senior Services, Lincolnton’s and Lincoln County’s Parks and Recreation departments, the Arts Council, Cultural Center and the YMCA, which hosts swimming events.

Local coordinator Drew Chance saw participation rise approximately 60 percent between the first and second years.

The games’ success in the county was noticed by the NCSG President and Executive Director Brad Allen, who made a surprise call to Chance. After hearing what was planned for the kickoff, Allen decided to attend the event.

“It tells me we’re doing something right,” Chance said.

The Senior Games don’t just focus on athletics. Seniors can show off their artistic talents in the Silver Arts Showcase. According to the NCSG website, Silver Art is “a celebration of the creative expression of seniors in North Carolina.” The categories are visual, heritage, literary and performing arts, plus a cheerleader showcase. Visual and heritage artworks must be original. The heritage art subcategory leans more towards crafts like quilting, ceramics, woodworking and knitting.

The Silver Arts portion of the games will be held at Cultural Center. Participants should drop off their artwork on March 11 between 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Artwork will be on display until March 29.

“They do an outstanding job with the judging and getting things ready for performers’ acts,” Chance said. “It’s very professionally done. In fact, we’ve had compliments from the state on how well that has played out.”

Local qualifiers are invited to participate in the Senior Games State Finals held in Raleigh each Fall. In 2018, the Wildcats cheerleading squad comprised of Debbie Putnam, Cathy Turman, and Donita Davis won silver in the finals.

The kickoff event is 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Lincoln County Senior Center located at 514 S. Academy Street.

The Lincoln County Senior Games is open to Lincoln County Residents 50 years or better. Entry form and payments must be submitted by March 1 at any of the following locations:

Lincoln County Parks and Recreation 206-A Gamble Drive in Lincolnton.

Lincoln County Senior Center 514 S. Academy Street in Lincolnton

East Lincoln Community Center 8160 Optimist Club Road in Denver.

Applications can be mailed to Lincoln County Parks and Recreation P.O. Box 25 Lincolnton, NC 28093.

For more information contact Lincoln County Senior Services at 704-748-1518.

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