Peninsula Senior Games to lure 500 from U.S., Canada this weekend
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Clifford Silliman of Sequim warms up for the bowling competition at Laurel Lanes in Port Angeles during last year's Senior Games. -- Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

Senior Games schedule

Schedules and other information are available at the senior center.

A celebration banquet will be held at Park View Villas, 1430 Park View Lane, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Here is a schedule, listed by event. All addresses are in Port Angeles unless otherwise noted. Saturday and Sunday are Aug. 24-25:

■ Basketball — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday; Clallam County Family YMCA, 302 S. Francis St.

■ Bowling — 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, and noon Sunday; Laurel Lanes, 108 W. Eighth St.

■ Bridge — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; senior center.

■ Cornhole toss — 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at Park View Villas, and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday at the senior center.

■ Cribbage — 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; Park View Villas.

■ Cycling — 10 a.m. Saturday (9 a.m. check-in); Olympic Christian School, 43 O'Brien Road.

■ Indoor rowing — 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to noon Sunday; senior center.

■ Jump rope — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday; YMCA.

■ Pickleball — 8:30 a.m. and noon Saturday, and 8 a.m. Sunday; Roosevelt Middle School, 106 Monroe Road.

■ Pinochle (single and double deck) — 12:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; senior center.

■ Shuffleboard — 8:30 a.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday; Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St.

■ Slow-pitch softball, co-ed competitive and recreational — 10 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday; Shane Park, located between Sixth and Eighth streets and G and E streets, and Elks Playfield, Race and Fourth streets.

■ Slow-pitch softball, men's competitive and recreational — 10 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday; Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave., Sequim.

■ Swimming — 1 p.m. Saturday; William Shore Memorial Pool, 225 E. Fifth St.

■ Tennis — 8:45 a.m. Saturday, play ends Sunday; Erickson Park tennis courts, corner of Fourth and Race streets.

■ Track and field — 9 a.m. Sunday; community track (Port Angeles High School track), Viewcrest Avenue south of Port Angeles High School.

Visit www.olympicpeninsulaseniorgames.com.
PORT ANGELES — Athletes 50 years and older will once again descend upon Port Angeles and venues across the North Olympic Peninsula for this weekend's Olympic Peninsula Senior Games.

Now in their ninth year, the games that began Friday and run through Sunday are expected to bring at least 500 competitors from multiple states and Canada to vie in 18 sports or competitions across 15 different venues.

“It gets you a lot of fun in a great town that welcomes and values their senior athletes,” said D Bellamente, executive director of the Port Angeles Senior Center and lead organizer of the senior games.

Senior athletes will swing away in softball, test their skills at horseshoes and challenge their minds in card games such as bridge and pinochle.

“We [also] offer more cerebral games because we know your brain calisthenics are as important as your brawn,” Bellamente said.

There is also indoor rowing, basketball, racquetball, tennis, bowling, cycling, golf, swimming and pickleball.

The headquarters for the games, where schedules and other information can be found, is the senior center at 328 E. Seventh St.

Bellamente said softball is one of her favorite events to watch.

“I don't think you can go wrong with senior softball,” she said. “Inside, we're all [Joe] DiMaggio — doesn't matter how old we are.”

All events are free for participants and spectators, Bellamente said.

Venues include Laurel Lanes, YMCA, Peninsula Golf Course, Shane Park, Erickson Park tennis courts, William Shore Memorial Pool, Park View Villas, Carrie Blake Park in Sequim and several schools.

Organizers added badminton and shuffleboard to this year's competitions, events Bellamente said have quite large followings among senior games across the country.

This year, Bellamente said, organizers asked staff from Olympic National Park to bear the senior games torch from City Pier to the Port Angeles Senior Center to kick off the start of the games at 7 p.m. Friday.

The national park was chosen to honor the park's 75th anniversary this year, Bellamente added.

“We were just honored to be asked,” national park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said.

She said between five and six park staff members will be part of the torch procession from City Pier that also will bear an Olympic National Park banner.

At least 164 volunteers to date have helped organize this year's games, Bellamente said.

She said the number of participants in this year's games is on par to meet last year's numbers, which topped out at about 520.

“I always expect more people. I expect 1,000,” Bellamente said with a laugh.

“But we're happy when we hit 500.”

Last year saw numerous competitors from Washington's neighboring states and British Columbia, Bellamente said, and from as far away as the East Coast.

“Some of our pickleball players come from all over,” Bellamente said.

Many athletes prove to be serious competitors in their chosen sports, Bellamente said, though those seeking to just have fun should not shy away from signing up.

“We ask them to come for the sport and stay for the fun.”

A celebration banquet will be held at Park View Villas, 1430 Park View Lane, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, phone the senior center at 360-457-7004 or visit www.olympicpeninsulaseniorgames.com or www.portangelesseniorcenter.com.

________

Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 24. 2013 7:56AM
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