Tai Chi added to Florida Senior Games Roster of Sports

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Tai Chi added to Florida Senior Games Roster of Sports


TALLAHASSEE – In an effort to offer the widest variety of sports and events to Florida amateur athletes age 50 and over, Tai Chi has been added as a Florida Senior Games demonstration sport for 2015.


Competition will be held Saturday, December 12 at the YMCA of the Suncoast – Clearwater Branch. Events will include forms and push hands. Visit www.floridaseniorgames.com or call toll-free 1-866-FLGAMES (354-2637) for more information and to register.


The benefits of Tai Chi are rewarding, especially in the area of fall prevention” said FSF Sr. Vice President Stephen Rodriguez.  “We are proud to be offering this ancient martial art and look forward to continuing the expansion of sports offered in the Florida Senior Games.”


The Beginner Forms division includes Yang 8 or 16 hand forms, MFBB, Tai Chi Easy and other beginner and/or modified forms. Performances will be evaluated according to the principles of tai chi for 3-5 minute time requirements.


The Push Hands competition is fixed step only: Both feet must remain in contact with the floor at all times in matches consisting of two 1-minute rounds.


This week begins a six week schedule of Florida Senior Games Series Qualifier activities.  While registration is closed for the Jacksonville and Tampa Bay Senior Games, interested 50+ athletes can register for upcoming competitions.  The Ormond Beach Senior Games registration deadline is Wednesday, October 7.  Visit www.ormondbeach.com for registration information.


While the Gainesville Senior Games archery competition was held Saturday, the registration deadline for the remaining sports is Friday, October 9.  Those sports taking place, between October 9 – 18, include golf, bowling, cycling, table tennis, basketball shooting and three-on-three, 5K road race, track and field, billiards and swimming. For the full schedule, visit gainesvillesportscommission.com.


Splitting arrows at Gainesville Senior Games

While the majority of sports at the Gainesville Senior Games begin on Friday, Archery was held on Saturday at the Gator Bowman Archery Range.  The highlight of the day’s competition came when Oliver Austin, of Tallahassee, shot a Robin Hood, splitting one of his own arrows while shooting from 50 yards away.


“It’s like when someone shoots a hole in one in golf so it’s very exciting for an archer,” said Tim Austin, the Florida Senior Games Archery Sport Director, and also Oliver’s father.  “It’s got to be exactly the same shot to countersink it like he did.  We have at least one in every National Senior Games and every once and a while in the Florida Senior Games.  We have a Robin Hood Award for it with a pin and a patch with one arrow sticking into another.”


Oliver Austin has won multiple Florida Senior Games and Sunshine State Games gold medals over the years and is record holder in both events.


Athletes and Authors at the Pensacola Senior Games

Most of the athletes, if not all are not shy about telling other athletes their stories.  Two Florida Senior Games athletes who competed at the Pensacola Senior Games, John Hurd and Norman Meeker, prove you’re never too old to accomplish something by publishing their stories in a book.


Hurd, of Navarre, won gold medals in the 50 meter and 100 meter dash, in the 80-84 age group.  Meeker, of Gulf Breeze, won gold medals in the 100 meter dash and 400 meter run in the 85-89 age group.  Both are long-time Florida Senior Games Track and Field competitors and Meeker’s wife, Misako, also won a gold medal in the 85-89 age group in the discus throw.


Meeker authored, “Shouting on the Way, detailing his experiences in armored recon with the 89th Medium Tank Battalion (a unit attached to the 25th Infantry Division) during the Korean War. It includes comments about the author’s early life, his duty in Japan, and how he met his wife-to-be before the war.


Hurd’s biography follows him through his service in the US Navy during the Korean War, his college experiences, and into the corporate world with the IBM Corporation. Having been too small to compete in team sports in school, John took up sprinting at the age of 61. His dream was to get in shape, improve his overall health and fitness, and perhaps one day win a medal at the state level.

To meet interesting senior athletes like Oliver Austin, John Hurd and Norman and Misako Meeker, consider registration in one of six remaining Florida Senior Games Series Qualifiers taking place between now and November.


See the list below for dates, sports and registration deadlines of the upcoming Series Qualifiers


Jacksonville Senior Games – October 2-10
Sports and Events Offered: Bowling, Croquet, Cycling, Golf, Pickleball, Powerlifting, Road Race, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track and Field
Registration is closed


Gainesville Senior Games – October 3-18
Sports and Events Offered: Archery, 3-on-3 Basketball, Basketball Shooting, Billiards, Bowling, Cycling, Golf, 5K Road Race, Swimming, Table Tennis, Track and Field
Registration Deadline – Friday, October 9


Port Orange Senior Games – October 12-18
Sports and Events Offered: 3-on-3 Basketball, Basketball Shooting, Golf, Horseshoes, Pickleball, Racquetball, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Chair Volleyball, Wii Bowling
Registration is closed


Cutler Bay Senior Games – October 13-24
Sports and Events Offered: Basketball Shooting, Billiards, Bowling, Horseshoes, Pickleball, Shuffleboard, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis
Registration is closed


Ormond Beach Senior Games – October 24-31
Sports and Events Offered: Bag Toss, Ballroom Dancing, Basketball Shooting, Billiards, Bocce, Bowling,  Golf, Horseshoes, Pickleball, Racquetball, 5K Road Race, Shuffleboard, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track and Field
Registration Deadline – October 7


Martin County Senior Games – October 31 – November 9
Sports and Events Offered: Basketball Shooting, Bowling, Cycling, Golf, Horseshoes, Pickleball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track and Field

Good Life Games Golf Qualifier (Pinellas County) – November 2
Registration Deadline – October 15


Golden Age Games (Sanford) – November 7-14
Sports and Events Offered: Archery, Basketball Shooting, Bowling, Golf, Horseshoes, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track and Field
Registration Deadline – October 23


Good Life Games Cycling Qualifier (Pinellas County) – November 14-15


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