It's time to get back into shape because the fourth annual Bay Area Senior Games will be returning to venues in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and make a four-day run April 10-14. Most of the events will be based at Stanford University.
The Bay Area Senior Games are a local and much smaller version of the 2009 Summer National Senior Games held on the Peninsula and Bay Area. The athletes, aged 50 and older, are cited as examples of the benefits of an active, competitive lifestyle that embraces vitality and exemplifies the slogan of the 2009 Senior Games, "Long Live the Challenge."
"During last summer's successful 2009 Summer National Senior Games, many people contacted us to find out how they could get involved. The Bay Area Senior Games is our legacy and our commitment to exercise and health at any age," explained Anne Warner Cribbs, organizer of the Bay Area Senior Games. Cribbs is a 1960 Olympian who is president of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2009 National Senior Games.
The Games will feature 14 competitions in swimming, track & field, cycling, racquetball, fencing, golf, soccer, three-on-three basketball, softball, race walking, table tennis, tennis, water polo and lawn bowling.
Water polo, soccer, fencing and lawn bowling were demonstration sports at the 2009 National Senior Games and have been added to the program. In addition, a Bay Area Senior Games Golf Tournament will be played at Stanford Golf Course on Tuesday, April 13 and a softball tournament at Twin Creeks in Sunnyvale on April 13 and 14.
Cribbs said the 2010 Bay Area Senior Games will again be centered at the world-class athletic facilities at Stanford University. The only sports not to be staged on campus are cycling (Caņada Road, San Mateo County), softball (Twin Creeks, Sunnyvale) and lawn bowling (Palo Alto Lawn Bowls).
"We are very happy to welcome the Bay Area Senior
Games back to Stanford," Deputy Athletic Director Ray Purpur said. "This event encourages Californians over 50 to keep fit and live healthy, a message the University wholeheartedly supports."
Inspired by the popular Peak Performance Lectures initiated at last summer's Games and the national conversation about health, aging and care, the inaugural Annual Health & Peak Performance Conference will take place on Friday, April 9, also at Stanford. The day will feature lectures on fitness and performance, a luncheon and panel discussion with Olympians, and a pre-Games reception for athletes, sponsors and organizers.
A sports photography workshop also has been added to this year's Bay Area Senior Games. This course will be led by national published sports photographer John Todd and co-taught by Don Feria, wire service photographer and a former Palo Alto Weekly staff photographer, and Nhat Meyer, San Jose Mercury News photographer. Both Feria and Meyer will have just returned from photographing the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. The classroom will be the 2010 Senior Games at Stanford.
More than 1,300 California senior athletes, the most ever, participated in the 2009 Summer National Senior Games last summer.
For the next national event, eight regional Senior Games competitions will take place around the state. The California State Championships -- the qualifier for the 2011 Summer National Senior Games in Houston -- is set for June 5-27 in Pasadena. Sites for regional Senior Games include San Diego, Anaheim, Vacaville, Palm Desert, San Francisco Bay Area, Manteca and the first ever Winter Games scheduled for Dodge Ridge at Pine Crest (March 11-14).
A complete list with contact information for all the California Senior Games may be found at www.californiaseniorgames.org.
The Bay Area Senior Games is conducted under the auspices of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC). The Bay Area Senior Games were held in 2006, 2007 and 2008 as "test events" for the 2009 Summer National Senior Games.
Online registration for the 2010 Bay Area Senior Games is ongoing, up until April 5, at www.bayareaseniorgames.org. Entry blanks are available by calling 323-9400 or downloading them at www.bayareaseniorgames.org.