Older athletes who want to join in on the fun during this week’s third annual Moab Senior Games still have time to sign up for a range of competitions, from golf and tennis to pickleball, pingpong and track and field.
Although the upcoming event’s website says the registration period closed on Oct. 15, Moab Senior Games Sports Director Jeff Flanders is welcoming late entries and walk-ons.
“We’re not going to turn anyone away,” Flanders said. “It would be different if we had thousands of people, but we probably have 75.”
The games, which begin on Wednesday, Nov. 5 and run through Saturday, Nov. 8, are open to anyone over the age of 50.
This year’s participants will once again have the chance to compete for a range of medals, although the thrill of the sport is only part of the event’s appeal, according to Flanders.
“They’re competitive, but they’re also about having a good time and socializing,” he said. “The main theme is to keep seniors active.”
One of the highlights this year is a pickleball “clinic,” which will be held at the Center Street Gym ahead of a pickleball competition on Friday, according to Moab Senior Games President and CEO Suzan Martin. The clinic will offer participants the chance to learn how to play the game, which is often described as a cross between badminton, pingpong and tennis.
“People have heard about (it), but don’t really know how it is done,” Martin said.
After the clinic on Friday, the first of two pickleball events will run noon to 4 p.m. at the gym, which is located at 203 E. Center St. near Moab City Hall. The second pickleball event is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, organizers will be holding a first-ever disc golf event from noon to 4 p.m. at the Old City Park in Spanish Valley. The park is located at the intersection of Old City Park Road and Murphy Lane.
While the senior games have grown to include the disc golf competition, Flanders said that organizers had to cancel several events ― including their planned swimming and 5K Racewalk/ 5K Powerwalk competitions ― due to a lack of advance interest.
Flanders said they have seen an impressive showing from senior athletes in other states who travel from one event to another.
“It’s really nice to get participation from people outside the area,” he said.
But event organizers also need more local residents to sign up in order to keep the senior games going strong, according to Flanders.
“We need more participation from Moab,” he said.
After the games on Friday and Saturday, Flanders and Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison will be passing out medals to award winners. The first awards presentation and social event will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Blu Pig, which is located at 811 S. Main St. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, a second social will be held at the Moab Brewery, 686 S. Main St.
For more information, or to volunteer for the event, call Moab Senior Games at 435-260-0161 or email email@example.com. You can also visit the event’s website at http://moabseniorgames.com/.
Walk-ons are welcome to join event
What: Moab Senior Games
When: Wednesday, Nov. 5 through Saturday, Nov. 8. Sign-in begins at 8 a.m. each day; event times vary. For a complete schedule, go to: http://moabseniorgames.com/schedule/.
Where: Events will be held at various locations around Moab, including Grand County High School, Old City Park, the Moab Country Club and the Grand Center. Participants can sign in at the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 W.
Cost: $32 to register, plus additional costs per event. Although the registration deadline closed on Oct. 15, late entries and walk-ons will be welcome. For more information, go to http://moabseniorgames.com/, or call 435-260-0161.