For participants in this year's Missouri State Senior Games, it's about having fun with people your own age and meeting new friends.
"It's just a great experience socially as well as physically," says Skip Deming, a Pickleball player.
The Missouri State Senior Games consist of an Olympic-style sports festival for participants age 50 or older. There will be about 24 different sports that include archery, badminton, soccer and more. The games will run this weekend from June 11-13.
A difference in this year's senior games is that they are separate from the Show-Me State Games of the Midwest, which run the same weekend.
"Last year they combined them with the Show-Me Games, but this year it is separate," explains Emily Lorenz, Marketing and Media Coordinator for the Show-Me State Games. "Seniors like to have their own unique events."
These events show the physical and mental ability that seniors have, as many seniors come back year after year. Skip Deming will be returning this year for the third time to play Pickleball. Deming, 64, started Pickleball in the Missouri State Senior Games three years ago after playing in other senior games in Arizona.
"It's a good thing for a person of any age," explains Deming. "but most certainly for seniors."
The Senior Games also include those who have never participated before. Linda Kaercher will be participating in the 5K for the first time. At 54, Kaercher thinks it will be the most fun to run with those her own age,
"It will just be fun to do a 5K with seniors," says Kaercher. "With people my own age."
What participants look forward to most is meeting new people and seeing old friends. The Missouri State Senior Games invites seniors from all over to take part in the games. For Deming, this is a time to catch up with old pickleball friends.
"It's an opportunity to meet and see people I don't routinely see in town," says Deming. "It brings people in from other states."
The Senior State Games will start with a kick-off reception for participants and guests on Friday, June 11 at 6 p.m. at the Isle of Capri in Boonville.