SALISBURY, MD---Ocean Pines resident Betty Brey is a long-time participant in the Eastern Shore Senior Games, held annually at Salisbury University.
In fact, the 75-year-old swimmer is already gearing up for this year’s event, Thursday-Saturday, May 10-12.
Open to men and women age 50 and over in Maryland, Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Virginia, this year’s eighth annual Senior Games feature a variety of competitive activities for young-of-mind athletes.
“Senior games participants are an inspiration to us all because they've maintained a healthy and active lifestyle well into their 70's and 80's,” said Dr. Carol Wood, Senior Games coordinator and associate dean of the Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies. “The games provide a venue where seniors can show their stuff.”
Individual events include aquatics, badminton, bowling, floor and foul basketball shooting, golf, table tennis, tennis and track and field. Softball and volleyball are the team events. Athletes compete in age brackets based on five-year increments, beginning with ages 50-54.
Brey, who swam in the 1956 Olympic Games, plans to compete in the 50-meter butterfly and the 50-meter freestyle. In the past she’s tried the backstroke and free throw shooting, but decided, at her age, to cut down swimming distances and take more rest between events.
“I have my registration form all filled out ready to mail,” she said. “There’s an event for everyone. It’s a great laid back, low-gear competition.”
According to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, 85 percent of senior citizens in the United States do not exercise as much as they should. Other seniors have made staying in shape a social affair, using events like the Senior Games to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones. In recent years, more than 300 have competed in the games.
Competitions are held at the Salisbury University athletic fields and tennis courts, Maggs Gymnasium, Cherokee Lanes and Deer Run Golf Course.
To register or for more information call Wood at 410-548-3256 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu/community/seniorgames.