By Conrad Dudderar
Calling anyone age 50 and above who wants to show off their talents while relishing fun and fellowship!
The 20th Annual Yukon Senior Games is just around the corner.
Registration deadline is March 30 for this year’s games, which feature a wide range of activities.
The Yukon Games will be presented Monday through Friday, April 12-16 at venues in Yukon and Oklahoma City.
“People are living longer and want to stay active longer – especially the Baby Boomers,” Yukon Parks & Recreation Director Jan Scott said. “They enjoy life and want to stay as young as they can.”
The Yukon Senior Games is packed with activities for active older adults – not just senior citizens.
“It’s a great event,” Scott promised. “We will work through COVID this year.
“We want people to feel comfortable coming out. Whoever comes out will have fun.”
Main categories are: Billiards, archery, horseshoe pitching, cornhole, washers, weightlifting, fitness, pickleball, golf, bowling, basketball, and table tennis.
For those who aren’t athletically inclined, the Yukon Senior Games will be offer creative arts contests: Poetry, 2D art, 3D art, and photography.
Age divisions are: 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89, and 90-above.
Awards will be presented to the first, second and third place finishers in each category.
Everyone is invited to a social at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 13 at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore. This will feature dancing, dinner and live music.
Former YPR supervisor Tim Rhodes help launch Yukon’s Senior Games two decades ago.
After 20 years, participants keep coming back to Yukon for the competition and camaraderie.
“People really enjoy it and we receive lots of positive feedback,” Scott share. “People are coming out and really enjoying themselves. They look forward to it every year.
“Our department always go the extra mile to make sure all our events are fun.”
Mindful of lingering COVID-19 concerns, organizers anticipate strong attendance at the 2021 Yukon Senior Games.
“We’re hoping the seniors come out,” Scott said. “It all depends on the way the athletes feel. They’ll either choose to come or not come.”
As of now, masks are still required for anyone inside City of Yukon-owned buildings.
“This will not be a full year of senior games like we’ve had in the past,” Scott said. “We still have the COVID situation, wearing masks and competing while wearing masks. Some people have trouble playing pickleball with a mask on.
“We won’t have the track meet again, which has been one of the most well-attended events. That’s because the schools are still not renting out their facilities so we can’t use their track.”
Several YPR facilities will host Yukon Seniors Games’ competitions, including the Dale Robertson Center, Jackie Cooper Gym and Yukon City Park.
Organizers partner with several local businesses, including Miller Fit and Archery Traditions, to present the archery and weightlifting/fitness competitions.
Since Yukon doesn’t have a golf course or bowling alley, those events are hosted by Lake Hefner Golf Club and Heritage Lanes in Oklahoma City.
“Oklahoma’s State Senior Games is held annually in September, and it’s a qualifier for nationals,” Scott said.
Yukon’s longtime recreation chief anticipates the Yukon Senior Games being back to normal in 2022, including the ever-popular track and field events.