This weekend at the Community Center in Madison is the annual Heart-of-the-Lakes Senior Games, which has been in Madison for over 20 years now. Games will take place tomorrow, June 24, and Saturday June 25 for those who are 50 years or older.
Age groups for the events are divided up to every five years (Ages 50-54, Ages 55-59, etc), with most participants in their 60s and 70s.
There is no shortage of events for people to partake in, with Games Director Bernie Schuurmans saying that they try to appeal to a lot of the “kind of old school” things. Those would include events such as horseshoes, bean bag toss, shuffleboard, and table tennis.
Participants can do events like bowling, cycling, a number of track and field events, along with the growing interest in pickleball. There is also table tennis, 8-ball pool, basketball free-throws, and spot shooting 3-on-3.
Saturday around noon there is also a free picnic lunch.
The Senior Games in Madison is one of about eight cities that host regional games before the state games in Watertown this year from September 8-12. There is no qualifier for the state games, for you can just pre-register, but the state games can help people qualify for nationals. There are typically over 10,000 competitors at the national competition.
Hosting the Senior Games can take a lot of work and volunteers, and Schurrmans recognizes the amount of help that they receive for the event.
The games start tomorrow evening indoors at the Community Center at 5pm with events lasting throughout the evening before the big day on Saturday. Saturday features the track and field events starting at 8:30AM, and around 9AM is when the weight events start, like javelin, shot put, and even the hammer throw, which Schuurmans says there is typically a good turnout for.
For those interested in the Senior Games, you don’t have to preregister, but they still ask that you do because it helps them with planning. There are registration forms available at the Community Center. You can also call Beau Schuurmans at (605) 270-3327.