Seeking to inspire people of all ages to live more active, healthy and fulfilling lives, the 2011 Bay Area Senior Games will kick off on Saturday (March 26) at Stanford University.
Games organizers, along with the university and the City of Palo Alto, are preparing for the arrival of about 1,900 senior athletes for the nine-day event.
Competitors will test their mettle in 24 sports, including rugby, water polo, archery, feats of strength, golf and lawn bowling. This year, the competition is also serving as the California State Senior Games Championships.
Spectators are welcome at all sporting events, according to organizers. Admission is free.
"The Games promote healthy, active lifestyles for adults over the age of 50. We aim to provide excellent conditions for seniors who seek a competitive environment along with the camaraderie of other athletes," according to the California Senior Games Association, which is chaired by 1960 Olympian Anne Warner Cribbs.
In addition to competitive sports, the Games will include the all-day Health and Peak Performance Conference in the Stanford Arrillaga Family Sport Center on Saturday, March 26, and a community walk on Sunday, April 3, starting at 8:30 a.m. at Stanford's Pac 10 Plaza.
Opening ceremonies for the Games will take place on Saturday, March 26, at about 5 p.m. at Stanford's Steuber Field and include a torch relay using a 2.5-pound solar torch. Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa will be on hand to welcome the athletes.
Olympian Willie Banks will take the Athlete's Oath of Participation.
Palo Alto venues that will be used for the Games include the Palo Alto Lawn Bowls, Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course, Palo Alto YMCA, the Palo Alto Bowl and Rinconada Park tennis courts. Other Bay Area venues include Canada Road and the Half Moon Bay Horseshoe Club.
More information about the Games is available at www.bayareaseniorgames.org.