Fun, competition mix well at Granite State Senior Games
“I saw all these guys coming in with their cases and bags and sweat bands,” said the physical education teacher at Manchester’s McDonough Elementary School. “I was like, ‘Oh no, I better stick to shuffleboard.’ . . . I didn’t think anybody even played badminton anymore.”
Herlihy, 61 and playing in her first Granite State Senior Games this month, joined the 20 or so competitors — a mix of newcomers, intermediates and tournament veterans — on Sunday at the Racquet Club of Concord and had herself a good time.
A few minutes later, she and her doubles partner, Stuart Goldstein, a buddy and phys ed teacher at Dunbarton Elementary, were playing shuttlecock guy and his teammate in a mixed doubles match.
“You let me do that,” she said to her opponents.
Herlihy and Goldstein, 55, came out on the wrong end of the score. That was fine with them.
“I think it’s important to do as much as you can,” Goldstein said. “I’m not out here to win. I’m trying to compete and have fun.”
He’s become a big-time proponent and promoter of the Granite State Games.
Goldstein let Herlihy know about the Games and midway through Sunday’s event they were plotting ways to boost attendance further.
Both practice what they promote.
Goldstein competed in the high jump and long jump in track and field events at Manchester Memorial High School on Sunday morning, but had to skip the 50- and 100-yard dash races to get to badminton. He played racquetball in the Games earlier in the month and he and Herlihy are signed up for tennis next weekend at the Allard Center in Goffstown.
She thought about entering swim events.
Herlihy and Goldstein were on the younger end of things in age — and badminton experience — at the Racquet Club.
“I had to play him when he was in his 70s and he whipped me,” Goldstein said.
Has Goldstein closed the gap since then? “Not at all,” he said.
He’s retired and lives in New London where he plays badminton with a group of about 15 twice a week at Colby-Sawyer College. Another group plays twice a week at the Racquet Club in Concord.
Mark Rynearson is a landscape designer in Goffstown whose wife, Annette, owns Uncanoonuc Mt. Perennials. He’s one of the better badminton players around and was coordinating the Concord event.
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