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Monday, March 28, 2005

U.S. Olympic Swimmer Competes in Senior Games

SALISBURY, MD---What is it like to participate in Salisbury University’s Eastern Shore Senior Games?  Ask Betty Brey, who has been a member of the Organizing Committee since its inception. “For people who haven’t competed before, it’s perfect,” said Brey, an Ocean Pines resident who participates in a variety of activities at the Games. Seniors may choose from more than a dozen competitive events of low to high intensity from table tennis to racquetball, golf to bowling. Team events even include line dancing. Brey competes in the 70-74 age group, but groupings begin at age 50 and go as high as 90 years.  Part of Maryland’s Senior Olympics movement and sponsored by SU’s Department of Health, Physical Education and Human Performance,  the Eastern Shore Senior Games sends many of the competitors home with bronze, silver and gold medals. For Brey, “The camaraderie is wonderful.”  Usually several hundred seniors participate over a three-day period, this year Thursday-Saturday, April 21-23.  The skill levels vary.  Many are simply retirees who find the festive atmosphere of the games an incentive to be active and stay in shape.  Others were athletes in earlier years who still enjoy the thrill of competition. Brey is both.  Gregarious and outgoing, she is a cheerleader for its programs, getting friends and neighbors to participate.  “I like the Senior Games because they are a low-gear competiton,” she said. “This competition is laid back.” At the same time, she and her family are life- long athletes.   Her son, Mike, for example, is coach of the Notre Dame men’s basketball team.  During her youth in the 1950s she was an internationally known swimmer, competing in two Pan American Games and representing her country in the 1956  world Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia. The Brey home is filled with trophies, ribbons and other memorabilia—mementoes of an active life.  Her husband Paul, also shares her enthusiasm and together they are welcoming figures and advocates for this spring’s games. Registration is now underway.  For more information call 410-548-3256 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.

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