The senior athletes left their track shoes and golf clubs at home, but proudly wore their medals to the Winners’ Circle celebration luncheon, held last week in Drexel Hill, marking the culmination of the 24th annual Delaware County Senior Games.
The games, held throughout June at 14 venues across the county, featured a record number of 712 participants age 50 and older during 10 days of sports competition in bowling, tennis, basketball, golf, swimming, table tennis and track and field.
The Senior Games are sponsored by Delaware County Council, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA).
“Whether you are in your 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s, you are all to be commended for your sportsmanship and congratulated on your athletic skill and competitive spirit,” said County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, as he welcomed participating athletes to the Winners’ Circle luncheon.
The luncheon was attended by County Council and Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Brian Duke.
McGarrigle cited some of the highlights of the 2014 games:
“The most popular event was 18-hole golf with 143 golfers competing in the event at Paxon Hollow Golf Club,” he said. “In the singles bowling event at Sproul Lanes, Richard Herman, 69, of Newtown Square, bowled the highest score of the day with a three-game score of 653.”
Of the 712 participants, six have competed for 20 or more years; 13 were age 90 or older; and 130 were age 80 or older. Participants included 422 men and 290 women.
The oldest athlete, Sye Brandman, of Philadelphia, is a young 98 years. The oldest county resident, Richard Bayley, of Glen Mills, is 97, and competed in bowling.
The oldest female athlete, St. Clair Melbourne, 93, of Upper Darby, earned a silver medal in Table Tennis at Watkins Senior Center.
The games encourage Delaware County seniors to maintain a healthy level of mental and physical fitness through exercise and social activities with peers.