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Lancaster holds 30th annual Senior Games

Members of the Lancaster County community came together on May 7th at Spooky Nook Sports to show off their athletic abilities. However, there was something unique about this group of athletes. All the participants were of the ages 55 and older!

Coordinated by the Lancaster County Office of Aging, the event offers 57 different activities to its 900 plus participants. This event is made possible by the help of 300 volunteers and the Senior Games Planning Committee. With its variety of events, there is an activity for every participant.

Since 1989, the Lancaster Senior Games has been hosting an annual sporting and recreational event. Lisa Paulson, a Senior Games Committee Member, explains the mission of the event, “It’s really cool to be able to do this and try to encourage people to stay physically active. We don’t want people coming here just once a year and throwing a baseball and throwing out their shoulder. We’re trying to get them to be active yearlong, and then coming here and compete. And we do succeed in that.”

From baseball to pickleball to exercise classes, the Lancaster Senior Games has a variety of activities throughout the week. Paulson believes that because of the abundant number of activities, everyone feels included. For those who don’t find themselves too athletic or competitive, they could possibly find themselves taking a Zumba or yoga class.

Paulson notes that the activities keep growing as well. “This year, we increased our exercise classes, which I think has really paid off.” Other classes include a “Technology For Fitness” class, where senior citizens can increase their fitness through technology. Additional activities such as baseball, swimming, golf, and many others are also available to participants.

When John Fellenbaum, a Senior Games participant, was asked about the importance of this event in relation to aging, he responded that it’s about “the quality of life.”  “You want to enjoy life and the social aspects of it. That’s really the bottom line. It’s a lot of fun, the comradery, and it’s good exercise.”

Fellenbaum also participated in the pickleball tournament, a sport he plays throughout the entire year. He said why his doctor recommends all his patients to stay physically active, “A couple years ago, I had six bypasses. I go to the heart doctor once a year and every time he says, ‘keep playing pickleball.'”

The main goal of the Lancaster Senior Games is to encourage physical fitness amongst seniors to improve their quality of life. The participants strongly believe in that concept and maintain an exercise routine throughout the entire year before competing in the Senior Games. An event that once had a few hundred participants, now exceeds 900 participants and continues to flourish.

For more information on the Lancaster Senior Games, click here. Registration for the 2019 Senior Games will be available March 2019.