Registration is underway for the 2014 Louisiana Senior Olympic Games, which will begin Sunday and continue until Nov. 15.
Jefferson Parish is the co-host of the event for the second year in a row.
Approximately 800 men and women 50 and older will participate in dozens of games at locations throughout Jefferson Parish. Events include road/race walking, archery, badminton, basketball, billiards, bowling, cycling, horseshoes, golf, miniature golf, pickleball, racquetball, shooting, shuffleboard, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, miniature golf, volleyball and weightlifting.
Janey Perez is a member of the board of LSOG and is coordinating this year’s event with the help of other board members and officers.
“The bulk of those who will participate in these state games will be from the New Orleans area, but we will also have athletes from Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Shreveport,” Perez, of Mandeville, said. “All of us who are involved with the games are all volunteers. We work on this event throughout the year because we love it.
“I first got involved as an athlete in 1998, playing volleyball on both the local and state level. And I am still playing today. And like so many others who participate, I enjoy the camaraderie and the competition.”
Those who register for the games are divided into specific age groups for each competition. The groups are 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84 and 85 and older.
Perez said the registration fee is $30 per person and the fee entitles each registrant to participate in three different events.
Perez added that the registration fee also includes a ticket to the Celebration of the Athletes banquet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at The Four Columns, 3711 West Bank Expressway, in Harvey.
General admission to the Sept. 25 event for nonparticipants is $5 per person.
Several events will take place throughout Jefferson Parish, including volleyball at Jefferson, Mike Miley and Pontiff playgrounds; basketball at Little Farms Playground; bowling at Colonial Lanes in Harahan; horseshoes at Waggaman Playground; softball at LaSalle Park in Metairie; track and field at King’s Grant Stadium in Harvey; and racquetball at Elmwood Fitness Center in Harahan.
Other events also will be played on the north shore, New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
All first- through fourth-place winners on the state level will qualify for 2015 National Senior Games, which will be held in Bloomington, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, Minnesota, from July 3 to July 16.
“The national games are held every other year, so we’re excited about the national games will be held once again next summer,” Perez said.
Of the games, Perez said volleyball is one of the most popular, followed by basketball, table tennis, shuffleboard and tennis.
“Many of these sports are popular because those who register to compete often played these same sports when they were in high school or college,” Perez said. “And many are still actively playing today.”
A sport Perez said is becoming “very popular” is pickleball, a racquet sport in which two to four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a polymer perforated ball over a net.
The game shares features of other racquet sports, the dimensions and layout of a badminton court and a net and rules similar to tennis with a few modifications.
“Pickleball is primarily played by current or former tennis players,” Perez added. “It’s a game that is easier on the knees and is played as an indoor sport as opposed to outdoor tennis.”
Two hotels will serve as host sites for participants during the competition. The locations are The Baymont Inn and Suites, 6589 West Bank Expressway, Marrero, and The Hampton Inn and Suites, 5150 Mounes St., Harahan.
“One of the many positive aspects of participating in these games is that it gets people up and moving,” Perez said. “I would encourage anyone who enjoys competing to come out and join us. You will make a lot of new friends and have a great experience as well.”
For a complete schedule of events, locations and registration information, visit www.lsog1.net or call Perez at (504) 296-8200.