LAURINBURG — Age is no excuse for the participants of the Scotland County Senior Games, it is only a requirement.
The 2017 Scotland County Senior Games started with the lighting of the torch and athletes from all corners of the county have been competing head-to- head for a chance to represent the county at the North Carolina Senior Games.
The competition runs through May 15 and has taken place at Scotland Place, Scotia Village, St. Andrews University, Cypress Creek golf course, and the Laurinburg Lanes bowling alley — among many other locations in the county.
Over 100 senior athletes have shown off their skills in cornhole, golf, swimming, billiards, bowling, chair volleyball, shuffleboard, track and field events, and dance.
“This year the participation has increased, meaning that our participants are signing up for more events,” said Kisha Williams with the Scotland County Parks and Recreation Department.
“So far this year we have had the most participation in women’s cornhole.”
The winners of the sporting events at the county level games will qualify for the North Carolina Senior Games, which athletes from Scotland County have gone on to not only represent their home but also qualify for the national senior games.
“I am doing four events for the Senior Games, the 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle, and 100-meter butterfly,” said Andy Kurtzman, who has gone on to compete in the Senior Games at both the state and national level. “The competition is always stiffer at the state level, but if I do place first in my age group I think I will qualify for the national games.”
“I hope to qualify for nationals, but whether I go or not, I don’t know.”
However, the games are not only for the seasoned veterans who participate every year, athletes have to start somewhere, and there have been about 8 new participants in this year’s event, according to Williams.
“I love it and I have participated in chair volleyball, water volleyball, and I participated in the walk on Friday,” said Janette Pegues, who is taking part in the Senior Games for the first time. “Parks and Recreation have done a great job — I came to watch it last year as a spectator, but it is more fun being in the games.”
With the first two days of the Scotland County Senior Games experiencing heavy rains, some events had to be rescheduled, but other than the weather the event has been going as planned, according to Williams.
The one-mile “fun walk” and croquet have been rescheduled for Monday. The walk will take place at Scotland Place, located at 1210 Turnpike Road., Laurinburg, and the croquet event will be held at Prestwick Village at 1000 Johns Road, Laurinburg.
There will be a Senior Games Awards Banquet on May 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church at 600 West Church St., Laurinburg. Tickets for the banquet are $15.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171