Every year in September, the Hopkinsville Division of Parks and Recreation sponsors the Pennyrile Area Senior Games. They do this by teaming up with area senior citizens centers to provide three days of fun and friendly competition to promote health and well-being among the senior population. This year, students and faculty in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program from Ross College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky joined over 189 men and women that endured the heat and competed in the three day event at DeBow Park in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
Some of the 18 events that were included were four-hole disc golf, corn hole, washer toss, shuffleboard, ring toss, and a one mile walk. The Senior Games are open to residents ages 50 and up that reside in the nine counties of Western Kentucky that make up the Pennyrile region. Each event is divided into male and female divisions with participants grouped by age. The oldest male participating this year was 96, and oldest female was a lively 95 years young.
The first day of the event included the opening ceremonies as well as a health screening provided by the nursing students from the local community college. The second day was busy with field events. On the third day, the remaining events were completed, and an award/closing ceremony was held which included bingo and dinner provided by local chefs.
The Senior Games provide a way for the mature population to engage in activities that promote health, well-being, and disease/injury prevention while also giving them an opportunity to socialize with peers from the area. “Participating in the Senior Games is a great opportunity for our occupational therapy assistant students to be actively engaged in supporting our profession’s philosophy that being occupied in meaningful and goal directed activities can improve one’s health, well-being, and quality of life,” shared Campus Director Chad Spencer. “In fact, this is the fifth year that our OTA students have volunteered at the Senior Games which, typically, consists of setting up, running, and keeping score for various events as well as socializing with and helping out participants. Volunteering at this event every year is a meaningful way for our students to interact with the geriatric population, give back to the community, and grow our campus.”