Senior games thrive in Portsmouth

Kelsi Holstein - PDT Contributor

As we live life, we often forget about activities that we once enjoyed.

The Senior Games are helping people over the age of 50 re-discover their passions, and stay active in the process. The games are held all over the United States, and as of last year, Portsmouth is one of the places they can be found.

“Last year there were people who had never competed before, and there were also very seasoned athletes,” Libby Brisker, who helped bring the games to Portsmouth, said. “There were some people who just thought they’d give it a shot. We had two people in particular from Portsmouth that did the shotput in high school, they had never picked up a shotput since high school, and they decided to do it. And now, they are wanting to compete at the state level. So now they have kind of found their passion that was long forgotten.”

The Southern Ohio Senior Games is one of nine districts in Ohio to hold the games. The SOSG held their first competition in 2016, although they were told not to expect many people, they were blown away by how many showed up.

“We had over 250 people participate our first year, so this year we are looking for an even bigger crowd,” Brisker said.

The games do not require participants to compete in the area they are from, because of that, the SOSG had people from five different states compete in Portsmouth.

“The athletes that came from around the area, from the five states, were very impressed with Portsmouth,” Brisker said. “We sent them all down to look at the murals, our track and field was held at Portsmouth High School facility, which is state of the art and beautiful. So it’s really a good way to show off our area, which is a beautiful area that gets overlooked sometimes.”

This year’s games, hosted by the SOSG will open at the beginning of September with the Run For Your Life, and will continue through the rest of September with events like corn hole, basketball, tennis, pickle ball, swimming and more. Those that would like to participate in the games can register by visiting or

Brisker says that they are hoping to increase the number of people who participate in the games this year to more than 250.

“We are hoping to offer the same level of expertise as far as hosting the games that we did last year, we are hoping to exceed the number of athletes that we had last year,” Brisker said. “Registration is open and we already have people registering. We’re hoping to encourage people 50 and over to live a healthy lifestyle, and to exercise, and to find something that they like that they can participate in the games this year.”

Kelsi Holstein

PDT Contributor