The Villages Senior Games is a fun-filled competition that gives athletes over the age of 50 the opportunity to take part in various sports with other athletes of similar ages and abilities.
Events held in The Villages are open to anyone over the age of 50 no matter where they live, so its not just residents only. The Villages Senior Games is sanctioned by the Florida Sports Foundation, and many of the events are qualifiers for the Florida Senior Games State Championships held later this year, December 7-15 in Tallahassee, so athletes from all over come to The Villages to compete and try to qualify.
This year the games start on April 1 and run through October 20, with the “Celebration of Athletes” featuring music and a light dinner taking place on April 8 from 4-6pm at Saddlebrook Softball Complex.
During the Games athletes compete against others in their own age bracket, and brackets are broken out into 5-year increments starting with the 50 to 54 age group and reaching up to 100 and older. You can compete down in age group, but of course you can't play up.
The first, second and third place winners also receive gold, silver and bronze medals respectively, while the fourth and fifth place winners will receive a runner-up ribbon.
Some of the competitions featured at The Villages Senior Games include regular Olympic-style sports such as track and field, tennis, table tennis, swimming and basketball.
Other competitions include bowling, shuffleboard, golf, horseshoes, badminton, bocce, and more.
The top five winners in each age group for each qualifying event earn the opportunity to compete in the Florida International Senior Games and State Championships.
Villagers have typically enjoyed good success at the State Senior Games, with more than 100 residents usually coming home with Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals.
Good luck to all participants, and if you aren't competing, get out there and watch some of the competitions.
The headquarters for The Villages Senior Games is at:
La Hacienda Regional Recreation Center
1200 Avenida Central – The Villages
Monday – Friday: 8:30am-5:00pm
Phone: (352) 753-1716
A full schedule of events is available at districtgov.org.