The fifth annual Sonoma Wine Country Games — a series of sports competitions for athletes 50 years of age and older — takes place June 4-14 in Sonoma County at a variety of sites.
The Games, sponsored by Council on Aging (COA) Services for Seniors, offers 20 different sports, from swimming to cycling, at venues throughout the county. Early registration opens March 1 at www.winecountrygames.com.
“We are excited to again present this opportunity for these amazing older athletes to compete and inspire others to become more physically active,” said Marrianne McBride, President and CEO of COA.
This year, the Games will feature three new sports: petanque, lawn bowling, and a 5K-10K walk/run. “The variety of sports, with their differing levels of intensity, draws everyone from world-record breakers to recreational athletes,” said Amy Crabb, COA Director of Development. “We strive to make them all-inclusive for anyone interested in testing their skills against other athletes, or just having fun.”
Nearly 1,250 athletes took part in the 2014 Games, and COA expects more than 1,800 to register for the 2015 event, with the added sports and increasing visibility of the competition.
“Many of the participants come from the Bay Area, but every year, we have more and more people traveling here from all over the country,” said Leigh Galten, Sonoma Wine Country Games Coordinator.
In 2014, competitors came primarily from California, but also from the states of Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Florida.
“This year’s theme, ‘Go for the Gold in Wine Country,’ embraces the Games’ identity as a celebration of athletic achievement set in a remarkably beautiful place, the Northern California Wine Country, filled with plenty of sights to enjoy during leisure time,” said Crabb.
Sports offered include archery, badminton, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, racquetball, soccer, square dancing (a demonstration sport), swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, volleyball, a 5K/10K walk/run, lawn bowling, and petanque.
Partnering with Council on Aging to introduce the three newest sports to the line-up are the Oakmont Lawn Bowling Club; Sonoma County Regional Parks and the City of Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks Department (5K/10K walk/run); and the Valley of the Moon Petanque Club. Lawn bowling will be held at Oakmont Village. The walk/run will start in Howarth Park and loop around Spring Lake Regional Park. Petanque will take place at Depot Park in Sonoma.
For more information about the 2015 Sonoma Wine Country Games, visitwinecountrygames.com or call 525-0143, ext 121.