The sounds of classic rock music and starting pistols could be heard from several blocks away as the Southern Ohio Senior Games (SOSG) hosted their annual event for older adults and seniors on Saturday morning. Elders from all over the country assembled at Portsmouth High Schools’ track and field in anticipation of the affair. This is year 6 for the SOSG event held in Portsmouth, marking an amazing opportunity for more experienced people to not only stay healthy and occupied, but to meet new people and make friends.
Lyvette Mosley, Coordinator with SOSG, claims that the Senior Games provide opportunities for everyone, regardless of experience or skill level.
“Even if you’re not an athlete or you’ve never been one, there’s still something that the senior games has for you to do,” She says. “We just want to get the people up and moving and building new relationships. It’s a lifetime sport.”
With nearly 100 very excited registered athletes, Mosley is satisfied with the turnout.
“There’s more people and each year it’s getting bigger and bigger. It’s great,” she explained. “The seniors come from all over. As far as Canada, but also from around the states— like Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania— they come from all over. It means a lot to me.”
Mosley explained that this event is run by and made possible because of volunteers. In addition, the games would not be possible without the generosity of community sponsors, such as SOMC and Humana, amongst many others.
Track and field is the second of nine total events being held and makes up only a portion in the grand scheme of the games, with additional remaining events consisting of bowling, table tennis, a two day pickleball tournament, horseshoe toss, basketball, and cornhole throughout the rest of this month and into October. The track and field day consisted of activities such as running and power walking, shot put, discus throw, javelin toss, long jump, and even softball and football.
People aged 50-100, from all walks of life, came to participate in the Games. Several of the athletes look forward to this all year, and many have returned from years prior. These athletes were definitely proud to be taking part in this year’s event.
Kim Bauer, executive director with Portsmouth-Scioto Visitors Bureau, tells her story of the SOSG event.
“It ran very well. Track and field day is always a fun day, and a lot of us that did track and field in high school and college come back,” said Bauer. “It’s fun to hang out with people and talk and cheer each other on, but the main thing is to look at how I did last year and how I can better myself this year.”
Although track and field has been a huge success, the games have barely begun. The bowling aspect is coming to Portsmouth’s Sunset Lanes on Thursday.
“We hit Sunset Lanes at 9 a.m. and we start bowling at 10,” says Bauer. “We have a lot of people drive down on the morning of bowling from Akron and Cleveland.”
Bauer thanks the Shawnee State University bowling team and coaches that volunteer their time, saying, “We always wanna thank our Shawnee State volunteers. We also need to thank all of our corporate sponsors. We could not do it without them.”
Although they may be physically older, the participants’ spirits are not.
“Nobody wants to act their age. Nobody has to,” says Bauer. “We laugh a lot. Some people are a little serious but we support each other. It’s just a lot of fun,” she continued. “We always support our older athletes.”
The SOSG is always looking for new participants, volunteers, and spectators to take part in the fun that is the Senior Games. For further information regarding the SOSG, please contact Lyvette Mosely at (740)727-4948 or online at www.southernohioseniorgames.org/contact
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