DAVENPORT—The Iowa Senior Games are extending their reach as they will kick off the Winter Iowa Senior games on Feb. 24-26 in the Quad Cities.
Former Iowa Hawkeye great and NFL quarterback Chuck Long, also the CEO and executive director of the Iowa Sports Foundation, talked about the significance of the new event Tuesday morning at the Center for Active Seniors.
“We think the Quad-Cities is going to be a great area,” said Long. “It’s not just for Iowans. We’ll have participants from 12 to 14 different states in our senior game events.”
Nearly 250 athletes from around the midwest are expected to compete in the inaugural Winter Iowa Senior Games. Events in Bettendorf and Davenport include swimming, tennis, bowling, shuffleboard, and table tennis. There is also pickleball and an indoor track and field meet which will take place at Augustana’s PepsiCo Center in Rock Island.
“This is an event we want to have here every year,” said Matt Beatty, director of the Iowa Senior Games. “It’s for anybody over 50. You don’t have to be an elite athlete.”
The events provide an opportunity to compete in the winter months, much like what the Quad Cities Senior Olympics do at the end of May into June. There are 10 age groups for men and women, with gold, silver, and bronze medals going to the top three individuals in each age group event.
“The sports are designed more specifically for this population,” said Beatty, adding that sports like shuffleboard and bowling provide a unique draw. “It’s really catering to the age group.”
The winter events are the newest addition to a regional lineup of Iowa Senior Games, which includes the Western Iowa Senior Challenge (Council Bluffs, April 21-23) and Eastern Iowa Senior Challenge (Cedar Rapids, May 12-13). The Iowa Senior Games main weekend is in West Des Moines from June 21-25.
“It gives seniors the chance to have a choice,” said Long. “Wherever they live, they can come.”
More information can be found at IowaSeniorGames.org. Registration is $25 through Jan. 23, and $30 until the Feb. 13 deadline. Sign-up information is also available at the Center for Active Seniors in