West Sound Senior Games let old pros showcase athletic talents

West Sound Senior Games conclude today.

With the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing just weeks away, some Kitsap County residents are already in the athletic spirit.

The fifth annual West Sound Senior Games began Tuesday with one of the program’s newest events, horseshoes.

The competitions conclude today as more than 200 athletes, ages 50 and older, participate in a plethora of activities with capturing gold medals on their minds.

“The ages range from 50 years old as of December 2008 all the way to 90,” explained event coordinator Holly Peterson of Bremerton Parks and Recreation.

Throughout the past week, participants have competed in everything from bowling to pickleball to track and field to a 12K cycling race and just about everything in between, Peterson said.

“(The senior games) were developed five years ago by our then-parks and recreation director Jim Spencer,” Peterson said. “An avid sports enthusiast, he wanted to emulate the games that go on across not only our state but also the United States for senior-aged athletes.”

The number of athletes has fluctuated each year either because the events have differed or due to health- or injury-related issues and so on, she said.

“Each year, not only do the previous year’s competitors sign up again but also a new ‘group’ of senior-aged athletes join us,” she said. “Many athletes encourage their friends to join in. The events are not only for the passive recreationist, but also the active senior.”

The most popular event tends to be track and field, she said.

“Over 50 athletes are pre-registered in this event and the number continues to grow everyday as late registrations are still being accepted,” she said. “In fact, you can still register for any event the day of. The 5K is also a popular event.”

For those seeking out competition against the best in the state, the West Sound Senior Games are a prelude to that event, she said, adding that the scores aren’t passed to the state committee for placement in the state games, however.

Although the games conclude today with an athlete’s banquet at 6 p.m. at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, there are still plenty of opportunities for spectators to cheer on their favorite athletes, she said.

Today’s events begin at 9 a.m. with the Off Road Race 5K Run/Walk at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, followed by bowling, tennis and racquetball at 10 a.m. before track and field events begin at Olympic High School in Bremerton.

Bowling will take place at All-Star Lanes in Silverdale, while tennis and racquetball will be at the Bremerton Tennis and Athletic Club.

Disc golf is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at Bremerton’s Upper NAD Park and the 12K cycling race is set for 1:30 p.m. on Big Valley Road in Poulsbo.

For more information, visit the city of Bremerton’s Web site at

The Web site includes a complete listing of events, times and locations of the action.

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