It was all about the win for a group of seniors in Oxford on Wednesday.
About 90 seniors from a six-county area competed in games of checkers, horseshoes and shuffleboard, among other events, at the Oxford Civic Center on Wednesday. The games marked the beginning of this year’s Masters Games of Alabama District 4 competitions.
Most of the competitions took place Wednesday, but participants in table tennis and billiards will meet at the Anniston Senior Center Aug. 6. Overall winners will represent District 4 in the state competition, to be held at the Oxford Civic Center in October.
More than 800 competitors are expected to attend the state competition, said Emily McCamy, human services coordinator for the East Alabama Commission Area Agency on Aging. McCamy is also a Masters Games of Alabama board member.
“It gives some of them something to look forward to each year, and many of them enjoy the fellowship and the competition,” McCamy said.
The number of participants in the games has grown nearly every year since they began, about 25 years ago, McCamy said. There’s been some debate about when, exactly, the games started, she said. Some say 1989, some 1990.
The purpose of the games is for seniors to become and stay healthy, McCamy said. The mission of the nonprofit Masters Games of Alabama is to promote healthy lifestyles for adults through social, mental and physical activity, according to the organization’s website. The minimum age to participate is 50, according to McCamy.
The oldest participant this year, Anniston’s 98-year-old Maurine Harmon, was inducted into the Masters Games Hall of Fame in 2008. Harmon has been competing since the very first games, McCamy said.
“Many think that competition ends after high school, “ McCamy said. “They didn’t realize there was so much fun to be had.”