More than 550 senior competitors from all over Kentucky and surrounding states visited Murray this past weekend to take part in the Kentucky Senior Games. The games, which are for anyone ages 50 and up, included 19 different common and uncommon sports.
These games were the only place in the state for seniors to qualify for the Summer National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio next year. The games were also open to residents outside of Kentucky. Some people who do not qualify for the National Senior Games often travel outside of their state to try to qualify. Less than half of the participants this year were actually from Kentucky.
This year’s games included golf, bowling, archery, badminton, basketball, cycling, pickleball, racquetball, shuffleboard, swimming, a 5K run, a 5k racewalk, horseshoes, tennis, table tennis, track & field, fun day and volleyball. The games were held on various places around Murray State’s campus.
The games not only promote physical activity and health and wellness but they also help boost Murray’s economy.
“This event has a large impact on our community,” said Stephanie Butler, director of Marketing and Communications at the Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The majority of the athletes are coming in from out of town and when they are not participating in the games they are staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants and filling up their gas tanks here. Many of them bring spouses, children or friends with them who also have time to spare for shopping and eating.”
The games this year proved to be another successful year of athletic competition.
“The games were successful,” Butler said. “We were happy to show off the friendliest small town in America to so many people.”
Story by Anna Taylor, Features Editor.