Fun for the over-50 set
Granite State Senior Games offer opportunities for fun, fitness
Irene Bigelow of Concord celebrates a strike while bowling in the Granite State Senior Games at Lakeside Lanes in Manchester on Friday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
But while there are hundreds of seniors taking part in the games, which began earlier this month and run through Aug. 25 (including the 5k and 10k road races today at 9 a.m. at 915 Holt Ave.), chairman Jim Eddinger said he wishes more newcomers would join.
"Our numbers are down as they always are in a non-qualifying year," he said. "We have about 300 participants this year. In non-qualifying years in the past we've had 400 or so and in a qualifying year we get 500 to 600."Eddinger said there is a movement from the NSGA to get more seniors out and active, even if it is just to take a walk. He also said that locally, the GSSG puts on clinics to get athletes involved and working toward the annual events here in New Hampshire.
"Track and field, usually we have 130 or 140 participants even in a non-qualifying year. But that's down below 100 this year," Eddinger said. "But pickleball has picked up every year for the past three years that we've been having it and this year we're at 75 (participants). I would say track and field is probably going to be taken over by pickleball next year."
"It's growing so fast in the area. Pickleball has been around for 40 years but it wasn't until the last few years that it's caught on in the east coast," Eddinger said. "Back in 2010 I came on as an ambassador and started the game in Manchester. It just blossomed through word of mouth."
"People come back every year and look for people they've met in the past," he said. "All of our games are a good at helping with the social aspect of life."