2012 State Masters Games in ValleyUser: webmaster
Date: 10/17/2012 7:36 am
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Opening ceremonies for the 21st Annual State Masters Games were held at 3 PM Monday, October 15, at the Valley Community Center. The games will continue locally through Thursday with a total of 635 Alabamians in the 50 and older age group from all over the state competing for medals. All participants advanced to the Games after having won medals in District competition; there are 9 districts in the state.
The Masters Games began in Oxford, Ala., in 1990 with the purpose of providingan opportunity to maintain an active lifestyle by participating in a variety of events to adults in this age group. The Masters Games of Alabama is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles for active adults age 50 and over through social, mental and physical activities.
Not all the 635 athletes registered were there for the opening ceremony and meal but will arrive as the competition begins. To be eligible to compete, a Masters Games athlete must be at least 50 years of age by Dec. 31 of the year they compete and must be an Alabama resident. They do not have to be a member or participant in a senior center or recreation program and may join either as an individual or part of a group.
Athletes in the 2012 State Masters Games have a wide range of events to compete in. Events include a 5K run, a basketball free throw, billiards, bowling, checkers, dominoes (both singles and doubles), Frisbee throw, golf (singles, doubles and pitch and putt), horseshoes, line dancing, nerfball throw, quilting, Rook, shuffleboard, softball throw, swimming events such as the backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle swimming, tennis and table tennis.
Local and state officials were on hand at the opening ceremony to welcome the Masters Games participant. Mayor Arnold Leak; Valley Council Members Ray Edwards, Marquetta Madden, and Henry Cooper; State Rep. DuWayne Bridges; and State Sen. Gerald Dial welcomed everyone to Valley. The Valley High Band, majorettes and cheerleaders, Auburn University mascot Aubie, and the Lanett High JROTC color guard were also part of the opening day ceremonies.
Councilman Edwards, who has served as chairman of the board of Alabama Senior Services, led the athletes in reciting the Athlete's Oath. Roger McDonald, a well-known local recreation figure, ran a lap inside the gym before symbolically lighting the Flame of Hope. Mr. McDonald also lit the Flame of Hope in 2008, the last time the City of Valley hosted the State Masters Games.
State Representative Bridges asked the gathered athletes if they were glad to be from Alabama and in Valley. He added, "We have so many ways to treat you right."
When State Senator Dial asked those at the ceremony if they thought Valley had a first-rate facility in the Valley Community Center, he drew a loud response. "Valley is fortunate to have something like this," he said. "I know all of you are excited to be here for the State Games."
"We want you to enjoy yourself and make yourself at home," Councilman Edwards told the participants. He also wished them luck in winning medals, but said the main thing was to have a good time here.
The 2012 State Masters Games will conclude Thursday, October 18 at 9:30AM. On Wednesday, October 17, there will be a banquet and an awards presentation at 6:30PM.