Neil Simpson Speaks: The 2018 Heartland Games for Active Adults are fast approaching, starting with bridge on February 2 and concluding with tennis on March 1. Full details of the Heartland Games are available at the South Florida State College website: http://www.southflorida.edu/community/community-education/heartland-games-active-adults
The Heartland Games are one of 21 qualifying events for the 2018 Florida Senior Games and are open to women and men aged 50 and above.
Two of the venues for the upcoming games have been changed. Shuffleboard will be held at the Avon Park Seniors Activity Center on February 6. (pic at top) Bowling will take place at Bowl Of Fun Lanes in Wauchula on February 12 and 19.
This year’s shuffleboard coordinators, Dan Noble of Sebring and Gary Sorko of Avon Park, expect a larger turnout this year and have moved the event from the eight court facility at Reflections on Silver Lake, which hosted the past two years, to the Seniors Activity Center with its 22 covered courts.
Noble, originally from Michigan, is now a full time Floridian. He served as president of the Sebring Recreation Club for two and a half years and is very proud of the club which is home to the Highlands Woodcarvers and offers bridge, line dancing, table tennis as well as other activities in addition to shuffleboard. There are 20 courts under cover and several more open air courts. The club boasts a membership well over 200 with 160 shufflers. A one year membership is just $30 which helps to pay for maintenance and utilities at the facility.
Sorko, a Canadian snowbird, is secretary of the Avon Park Shuffleboard Club which currently has close to 70 members. Membership in the club is $20 annually. Sorko has helped to coordinate the Heartland Games shuffleboard tournament for the past three years.
The Heartland Games are focused on residents of DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands Counties but are open to everyone. Both Noble and Sorko are hoping to see lots of players from Avon Park, Sebring, Lake Placid, Bowling Green, Wauchula and Arcadia and are keen to welcome players from the various manufactured home parks which have their own shuffleboard facilities.
This is a single elimination tournament to be played on Tuesday, February 6 from 9:00 to 4:00. Singles will be played in the morning and doubles will take to the courts in the afternoon. The cost to register is just $15 to play both singles and doubles. That includes a dri-fit shirt, coffee and donuts before the tournament begins plus lunch. Medals will be awarded to the top three women and men in each five year age bracket from 50-54 all the way up to 90+.
Those who wish to participate in additional Heartland Games events are welcome to compete in as many as they desire for a total price of $25. Other events: bowling, bridge*, cycling, euchre*, go kart racing, golf*, mah jongg*, pickleball*, swimming, table tennis*, tennis*, track & field.
Lunch is provided at all events with an asterisk, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors: Gold – Alan Holmes/Edward Jones, Newsom Eye, Silver – Drs. Thakkar & Patel, Florida Hospital, Turner Furniture, VITAS and Bronze – Alan Jay Automotive Network.
The Games are organized by the Corporate and Community Education Department of South Florida State College.
Story and photos by Neil Simpson. 2017 11 29.