July 15, 2024


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Senior athletes are game for Olympics | Local Sports

Not all the worries involving the Upper Cumberland District Tennessee Senior Olympics are getting place on the subject of engage in. Next a calendar year in which the function was canceled thanks to the pandemic, the 2021 competitiveness is marked by uncertainty owing to  an growing quantity of COVID-19 scenarios in the region.

For some 240 seniors, that could suggest much less probabilities to show their athletic prowess against their peers and operate, leap, throw and shoot with youthful abandon. The games commenced Thursday with the golf event and go as a result of early October.

With a spike in COVID-19 circumstances, there’s some uncertainty all over some of the functions. “We’re having it day-by-day,” mentioned Angela Shadden, director of the Reasonable Park Senior Center. “A amount of districts (4) have dropped out of the Senior Olympics.”

The 3-on-3, basketball tournament has been canceled, stated to Alicia Arehart, assistant director for Good Park Senior Middle. “It’s a close make contact with and indoor activity,” Arehart mentioned. “After conversing to Pat Murphy, who’s in demand of the event, presented the rising Covid figures, we determined to terminate it. Keeping it outdoor was reviewed, but Pat thought it would be as well warm.”

Arehart mentioned they are however trying to decide whether or not they’ll hold situations this sort of as observe and area and cornhole. Practically all the functions provide as qualifiers for the state completion.

With a range of persons hesitant to sign up thanks to concerns in excess of the pandemic, Arehart explained they would have a lowered amount of contributors and are looking at the option of canceling sure district occasions and allowing folks to contend at the condition degree without acquiring to qualify.

1 occasion that will not be canceled is pickleball. Arehart reported they have 90 seniors signed up for the tournament, which options singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Among the players is the doubles team of Cathy Schirtzinger and Janet DiCristina, each Fairfield Glade people

Schirtzinger, 70, is having section in the Senior Olympics for the initially time. She and her associate will contend in the 65-69 age team.

“Janet talked me into it,” explained the Ohio indigenous and retired trainer. “I want to have exciting and perform a excellent recreation. My partner’s a authentic pleasure to play with. There is no stress on me.”

Schirtzinger is a previous synchronized swimmer who was released to pickleball at an RV park in Texas.

“I was running all around, swinging and missing,” she claimed.

In 2016, Schirtzinger took beginning lessons with Eddie and Muffin Liskovec at Central Baptist Church in Crossville. She stuck with it and now plays 4 to 5 situations a 7 days, competing in her very first tournament, with DiCristina, three months in the past and successful a match.”

We both want to do very well,” she explained. “There’s tons of camaraderie. I have found it improves my equilibrium and provided me a large notion of what is heading on all-around me in other elements of my existence.”

DiCristina, 67, has been playing pickleball for some 5 a long time after somebody prompt she give it a try out. A previous recreational athlete who played tennis, soccer, volleyball and softball when she was youthful, the New Jersey native claimed she picked up the new sport pretty speedily and, like her husband or wife, took lessons  from the Liskovecs. DiCristina explained she prefers doubles above singles since there’s a lot less court docket to go over.

She explained Schirtzinger as a definitely fantastic associate who desires to acquire but understands it’s just a recreation. Her tranquil demeanor has assisted DiCristina develop some persistence and more diverse shot assortment.

“I hit the ball hard,” she said, “but I have realized you can even now earn the position if you dink it more than. It would be so awesome to earn a medal, but it is Ok if we really don’t. It’s about superior time, good opposition and good folks.”

Ernie Mathis, 59, is a different Fairfield Glade resident who will compete in pickleball. He’s having his money’s truly worth, signing up for singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the 60-64 age team.

A previous cross-nation runner in large school who also performed baseball and basketball, the Indiana indigenous has performed pickleball for a few many years and concluded 3rd in a Fairfield Glade tournament earlier this summer months.

“I enjoy taking part in for pleasurable,” stated Mathis, a further attendee of the Liskovecs’ pickleball lessons. “I love opposition, and it is nice each individual after in a while to contend. I like workout. I’m not a dude who goes to the health club and lifts weights. Following getting Muffin’s classes, I listened to about the Senior Olympics and believed, what the heck, I’ll give it a try.”

Kevin Kelly, 65, is a 1st-time participant in the Senior Olympics. He’ll be competing in the 50, 100, 200 and 400-meter sprints in the 60-65 age team.

“I’m curious to see how I do in opposition to fellas my possess age,” said Kelly, a resident of Harrison who’s competing in the Higher Cumberland District Senior Olympics right after the Chattanooga district canceled its video games owing to fears around the pandemic.

A native of Savannah, GA, Kelly ran sprints in large faculty and later on did triathlons. His aim is to qualify for the National Senior Olympics.“I’m a hugely competitive individual,” Kelly stated. “If I’m going to do it, I could as well go for nationals.”

While he runs and bikes, Kelly doesn’t know what to expect when he hits the observe in Crossville.

“I want to make it to the finish of the keep track of, not fall down, and not glimpse silly,” Kelly explained.

The Tennessee Senior Olympics started in 1981 with the mission of promoting a healthful way of living for seniors as a result of physical fitness, sporting activities and an energetic involvement in lifestyle. Senior adult males and women of all ages 50 and older contend in 10 age teams, commencing with 50-54 and ending with 95-furthermore. They will have to be inhabitants of Tennessee or live within just 30 miles of the point out line. Medals are introduced to the prime a few finishers in each individual age team.

This 12 months, thanks to the cancellation of the 2020 district completion, all district contributors are suitable for the point out competition. In addition to golf, competitors is available bowling, tennis, swimming, pickleball, basketball, table tennis, softball toss, horseshoes, shuffleboard, cornhole, chair volleyball, and keep track of and field. An awards luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Cumberland County Community Advanced.