Senior Round-Up Olympics set for Thursday

Published 5:37 pm Friday, October 13, 2017

The games will soon begin for the Butler County Extension Office’s fourth annual Butler County Senior Round-Up Olympics.

The Senior Round-Up Olympics seeks to engage Butler County seniors physically and socially Thursday at the Dunbar Recreational Center from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

County extension coordinator Anthony Pinkston said that the event has only grown from year to year and, if pre-registration figures are any indication, this year could easily be the biggest yet.

“We have more seniors registered already this year than we have had participate in years past,” Pinkston said.

As the name might suggest, the Senior Round-Up Olympics involves local seniors age 55 and older participating in a day packed with fun, games, food and prizes.

Such events include basketball free-throw competitions, softball tosses, bowling, dominos, checkers, a cakewalk and much more.

Senior Olympians are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at the conclusion of the day in a closing ceremony.  And though physical fitness is a major aspect of the annual event, Pinkston said that it’s about building relationships as much as it is about building muscles.

“Each year, we try to add something new to it, such as more information that can help them through their golden years,” Pinkston said.

“But we really focus on social interaction with this senior population because we have some in their 70s, 80s and so forth, and a lot of times their friends are already gone.  So this is a way for them to meet new people and build new relationships, so that’s a real big part of why we decided to do it.”

Door prizes are also offered throughout the day, and participants will have the chance to enjoy music from their favorite eras.

Two dozen volunteer students from Greenville Middle School and Greenville High School will also act as referees during the games and serve the seniors lunch.

Pinkston said that the inclusion of youth in the festivities was an effort to “bridge the gap between the old and new generation.”

The extension office has attempted to build on to their success by adding new wrinkles to the event each year.

This year, seniors will be introduced to new low-impact exercises prior to joining in the games that they can take home and work into their daily lives.

“We’re just trying to add things that are going to be for their benefit physically as well as mentally,” Pinkston said.

At 8 a.m., Hardee’s will be providing breakfast for the seniors prior to the program’s start.

Those interested can contact the Butler County Extension Office at 334-382-5111 to pre-register and receive a complimentary T-Shirt.