Competitors register for Yukon Senior Games

21st annual program features 30 events in 13 categories

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By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon’s Olympic-style competition for active older adults is back … in full force.

More than 160 people already have registered for the 21st annual Yukon Senior Games set Friday, April 8 through Thursday, April 14 at various Yukon-area venues.

Yukon residents are invited to compete in 30 featured events.

An opening ceremony – featuring food and live music – will be 5 p.m. April 8 inside the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.

“We’re ‘pumped’ to be able to provide this for our community,” Yukon Parks & Recreation Director Chris Lucas said. “I know this is something the 50-plus population looks forward to every year.

“We’re excited to ‘re-introduce’ the Yukon Senior Games and get them back to where they’ve been in the past.”

A full slate of 13 event categories will be presented during the upcoming week-long competition:

  • Archery
  • Basketball (free throw, three-point, hot shot, dribbling, three-on-three)
  • Billiards (eight-ball)
  • Bowling (singles and doubles)
  • Cornhole
  • Fitness
  • Golf
  • Horseshoes
  • Pickleball (singles, doubles, mixed)
  • Table tennis
  • Track and field
  • Washer pitching
  • Creative arts (poetry, art and photography)

Age divisions are: 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89, and 90+.

First, second and third place finishers in each category earn awards.

Although it’s called the Yukon Senior Games, this competition is open to all Yukon residents ages 50 years and above.

These events also attract many out-of-town entrants.

Yukon’s Ron Agnew eyes his target in horseshoes during the 2021 Yukon Senior Games at the Yukon Horseshoe Courts in Yukon City Park, 2200 S Holly. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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BRINGING THEM BACK

The Yukon Senior Games is the latest example of a Yukon Parks & Recreation special event that is returning fully in 2022 after pandemic-prompted postponements.

“We’ve seen a lot of our programs coming back to what they were pre-2020,” Lucas said. “With the Yukon Senior Games, we’re excited to offer many different events – and bring back events like track and field that were a ‘staple’ of these games in previous years.”

A series of track and field events return Saturday, April 9 on the Yukon Middle School field – 50-meter, 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter, 1500-meter race walk, long jump, standing long jump, discus, javelin, and shot put.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Yukon Senior Games’ track and field events were canceled during the last two years.

“Pickleball continues to be our most popular senior game competition,” Lucas added. “We have a pretty high registration for all three of our pickleball offerings – singles, doubles and mixed.”

The indoor courts at the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E Main, will be abuzz April 11-13 with players vying for pickleball supremacy.

Some people don’t realize they’re eligible for the Yukon Senior Games, according to Mayor Shelli Selby.

“Please join us; it’s quite the honor,” Selby said.

Yukon’s mayor said she especially looks forward to watching Civilla Ball again win the first-place prize in her division during the weight-lifting competition.

Leann Finley tosses a bean bag in the April 2021 Yukon Senior Games’ cornhole competition at Yukon City Park, 2200 S Holly. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Karen McAlister and Griff Henderson compete in mixed doubles pickleball during last year’s Yukon Senior Games inside the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E Main. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

THE FIRE STILL BURNS

The Yukon Senior Games’ competition promotes physical health and social wellness among participants 50 years and above.

“For some people, the fire still burns,” Lucas said. “This gives them an opportunity to scratch that competitive itch.”

Yukon Senior Games’ event venues will be the Dale Robertson Center, Jackie Cooper Gym, Yukon Community Center, Yukon City Park, Yukon Middle School Field, Spanish Cove Retirement Village, Archery Traditions, Surrey Hills Golf Club, and Heritage Lanes (Oklahoma City).

Presenting this competition takes a real YPR team effort.

“We utilize a lot of our staff to host these events across the city and western Oklahoma City metro area,” Lucas said. “Our staff gets excited to be able to utilize their expertise in some of these areas to make sure the participants are having a fantastic time.

“We want to provide a quality product so people will not only participate this year, but in years to come as long as that fire continues to burn.”

Yukon Senior Games’ entry fee is $15 per participant and $5 for each event.

“You can register for as many events as you’d like to,” Lucas said. “Our golf and bowling events require facility usage fees.”

Registration deadline is Wednesday, April 6.

For more information, e-mail Yukon Senior Games coordinators Jessica Brodmerkel or Nick Rice at jbrodmerkel@yukonok.gov or nrice@yukonok.gov or call (405) 350-8937.

Marvin Compton competes in billiards during the 2021 Yukon Senior Games. This year’s billiards competition returns to Spanish Cove Retirement Village in Yukon. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)