NATIONAL SENIOR GAMES

 

For the first time in its 28-year history, the National Senior Games — an Olympic-style sports event for people 50 and older — will be held in the Twin Cities. The world’s largest multisport event for that age group, the Senior Games are held every other year and are projected to draw 30,000 athletes and spectators for 12 days of competition in 21 individual and team sports.

 

When: July 3-15, with competition beginning July 4

 

Where: 18 venues in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Eagan, Mendota Heights and Hugo. Sites include the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas, the State Fairgrounds and the Minneapolis Convention Center.

 

Who: 9,955 athletes from age 50 on up, with 869 from Minnesota.

 

Sports: 16 individual, three team and two demonstration sports, with the highest participation in basketball (1,428), track and field (1,395), softball (1,328) and volleyball (1,068). The program also includes archery, badminton, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, race walk, racquetball, road race, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, tennis and triathlon. Disc golf and judo are demonstration sports.

 

Admission: Free

 

Special events: The Village, a health and wellness expo at the Minneapolis Convention Center, will be open to the public July 3-15 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (closing at 5 p.m. on July 10). A torch relay — which began in Washington, D.C., on June 25 and will travel by train to five cities — will end July 4 with the ceremonial lighting of the Senior Games cauldron at Father Hennepin Park just before the Red, White and Boom fireworks show. The Celebration of Athletes, a ceremony that includes a parade of competitors, will be held July 10 at 7 p.m. at CHS Field in St. Paul.

 

Volunteer: More than 2,500 volunteers are needed for the event, and slots remain open. Senior Games officials are most in need of people to greet athletes at the airport, as well as scorekeepers for basketball, volleyball, badminton and archery. Volunteers must be 16 or older, with training, Senior Games apparel and snacks provided. Go to www.TeamMNVolunteer.com to register.

 

Full schedule and more: www.nsga.com