It’s a young tradition for older athletes.
The 5th annual Moab Senior Games return on Thursday, Nov. 10, through Saturday, Nov. 12, with three days of events that range from tennis, pickleball, golf and disc golf to table tennis, track and field and more.
Local resident Suzan Martin organized the games to promote a healthy, social and competitive venue for seniors. The games are held at various sites around Moab.
Many volunteers help conduct the games, with volunteer Jeff Flanders serving as the sporting events director.
Flanders noted that senior games are popular across the country.
“The Huntsman games in St. George attract over 10,000 participants every year,” he said. “Obviously, we are a smaller event that is more personal and social. We invite anyone in Moab to register online and come have some fun. Local support is critical to the games’ future in Moab.”
Participants who finish first receive gold medals, while second-place winners will receive silver medals, and bronze medals will go to the third-place finishers.
“You can impress your friends when you win one of these beautiful medals,” Flanders said.
Some of the games are described below.
PICKLEBALL: The relatively new game of pickleball is one of the more popular Moab Senior Games events, according to Flanders.
Moab currently has two indoor courts at the Center Street Gym, 203 E. Center St., and three outdoor courts at the Old Spanish Trail Arena pavilion, 3641 S. U.S. Highway 191. Pickleball is similar to tennis, but it’s played on a court half the size of a tennis court with a paddle made of wood or other material and a whiffle ball.
“This fast-paced game is scored like ping-pong on a small court that is perfect for older
people,” Flanders said.
Anyone who would like to watch the pickleball games can drop by the Center Street Gym on Thursday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Beyond the senior games, local residents play pickleball regularly every week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings at games that Steve Russell coordinates.
“The Senior Games are a great way to meet and play with people from out of town,” Russell said. “I have made some nice acquaintenances through our Pickleball competition. When I travel to their cities, I am always welcome to join in their games.”
If you want to learn how to play pickleball, or participate in the weekly games, email Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TABLE TENNIS: Most of us have played this fun table-top game, which is also known as ping-pong. The Moab Senior Games competition will be held on Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West.
Singles and doubles matches are played. This event features former gold medal winner Matt Badger from the Denver area, who is one of the best players in the Intermountain West, according to Flanders.
“Come see Matt and the others in some top-notch interaction,” he said.
TRACK AND FIELD: The track and field events are also very popular, Flanders said. They are held at the Grand County High School complex at 608 S. 400 East on Saturday morning.
Track events go from the 50-meter dash up through the 1,500-meter run. Field events include discus throw, javelin, shot put, long jump, high jump, standing long jump, football throw, softball throw and soccer kick.
The competitions in most events are categorized by age and skill level. Local resident Jan Mannes coordinates the field events and is Moab’s top competitor, Flanders said.
Canasta and mah-jongg will also be played at the senior center on Thursday, and a new event – line dancing – will be held there on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Disc golf, or Frisbee golf, will be played at the Old City Park-area disc golf course starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Tennis matches will happen at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the high school courts.
There is still time to register for the games next week. Registration costs $29, and there is also a $10 fee for each event you play.
“Get active and have some great November fun,” Flanders said.
Nov. 10-12 event aims to promote healthy, social venue for older athletes
What: 5th annual Moab Senior Games
When: Thursday, Nov. 10, through Saturday, Nov. 12
Where: Various locations
Cost: Registration is $29; $10 fee for each event
Information: moabseniorgames.com; 435-260-8967, or 435-260-0161
We are a smaller event that is more personal and social.
For more information, go to moabseniorgames.com, or call Jeff Flanders at 435-260-8967, or Suzan Martin at 435-260-0161.