Participants got a sneak peek on Monday. The Perry Park Center hosted the second annual Senior Games Preview in the gymnasium on Monday.
The event had six stations set up of possible events that will be featured in the Senior Games next month. The idea behind the preview session is for people to practice events they might compete in or to get participants interested in a new event.
“We had few people earlier that were up on the track walking and they were like ‘what is going on here’ and that’s the hope,” League and Fitness Supervisor Kaelin Casasola said.
“There was a lady who wanted to learn about a specific event and she was able to do that.”
The most popular station at the event was by far Pickleball, and Doris Erlacker echoed that sentiment.
“I play pickle ball Monday-Thursday, or about three or four times per week. Friday, I’m basically on call for a game,” Erlacker said. “I like it because it gets me out of the house and it allows me to exercise.”
Casasola said that pickle ball is really growing in the area and of the people that participated in the preview a majority gravitated towards pickle ball.
“We figured that most people would go to pickle ball here,” Casasola said. “It has really been popular in the last few months. We used to have just two people come in and now I think we have 8-10 people that come in to play pickle ball pretty much every day. Of the people that have already signed up, many of them are signed up for pickle ball.”
Casasola mentioned that there are about 50 competitors signed up for the Senior Games so far, which is typical about a month from the start of the competition.
“Our early bird registration deadline is July 15, and that’s when everybody seems to turn it in to save some money,” Casasola said. “We expect a lot of registration forms to be turned in this week and the beginning of next week.”
Last year, the Senior Games boasted 128 competitors and Casasola is hoping for more after doing a little bit of extra promotional work.
“I’m hoping to break 130 and maybe 140, but I’m not sure we will get there,” Casasola said. “We took some fliers to new places this year in Jackson and Ste. Genevieve in hopes of getting more people out to participate.”
The registration deadline for the Senior Games is July 31, with the competitions to take place August 7-10. Casasola is excited for the event to begin.
“It’s probably one of my favorite events that we do all year,” Casasola said. “I just hope people will come out and enjoy it as much as I do.”