Track and field is a popular event in the West Sound Senior Games. Courtesy photo

West Sound Senior Games promote ‘health and wellbeing’

Athletes ages 50 and up are invited to participate in the competition July 12-15

BREMERTON — The annual West Sound Senior Games are coming up soon, a qualifying event for the state-wide senior games.

For about 13 years, the West Sound Senior Games have been a place where seniors, men and women age 50 and older, could gather and compete not just with each other, but with themselves, in 13 different events.

“It’s promoting health and wellbeing for people to stay physically active,” said Monica Sorensen, event organizer. “Even if they do the 5K walking, they’re walking. We’re promoting good health and active seniors. And it’s fun.”

The West Sound Senior Games take place July 12-15 at various Kitsap locations, depending on the event. The events include 8-ball, a 5k run/walk, badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling time trials, disc golf, horseshoes, mini-golf, pickle ball, ping pong, swimming and track and field. The only requirements are being at least 50 years old, and a certification in javelin if you want to throw javelins. And, Sorensen suggested, comfortable shoes.

“You just want to have fun,” Sorensen said. “There are really no requirements.”

Pre-registration is available — the forms can be downloaded at the website, bwssg.com. It costs only $50 (including a late fee, for all registrations after June 14), and for that one fee, participants can join in one activity, or all 13.

And, of course, anyone is invited to spectate.

“We’d love to get people to come and watch,” said Sorensen, who added that they don’t usually have many spectators. Of the athletes, she said “we have our regulars coming back each year. We have a 90-some-year-old who does the 5K. People compete as long as they can, and they’re only really competing against themselves.”

Sorensen said pre-registration is not required; people can just show up the day of and sign up, though she said it’s easier if they arrive early so age groups can be more easily sorted. People compete within five years of their age, so it’ll be 50-54-year-olds, 55-60-year-olds, etc.

“It’s not an 80-year-old competing against a 50-year-old,” Sorensen said.

Typically, about 150 people participate each year, she added, but this year the numbers are lower. Sorensen said they’re currently expecting about 110, but they would happily welcome more.

They would also welcome volunteers, as the entire event is run by volunteers.

For more information on the event and how to register, visit bwssg.com. For more information or to volunteer, call the Bremerton Senior Center at 360-473-5357.

— Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@sound publishing.com.

An athlete in the 2016 West Sound Senior Games participates in the discus throwing event. Courtesy photo

The West Sound Senior Games has a total of 13 events, in which participants are split into age categories. Courtesy photo

Bowling is one of the West Sound Senior Games events. Courtesy photo

The West Sound Senior Games allows participants to compete in one or more events in a qualifying competition for the Washington State Senior Games. Courtesy photo

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