With a new man at the helm, the Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics opens March 26 and runs through May 27, 2016.
Ronny Comstock, a retired USAF Tec Sgt. and a two-year veteran of the Senior Olympics, replaces Doyle Blasingame as coordinator of the district games. Blasingame ended a 20-yaar run as coordinator in 2015.
Comstock, who answers more informally to the name Ron, and his wife Linda, and Linda and Lionel Brangham form the core of the new leadership of the district games.
“Doyle has placed the games in such great shape, I only want to see it go forward,” the Shelbyville, IN, native said. “That’s my aim and I feel I have a good corps of people who will help me do that.”
Gerry Robichaux, who is in his 22nd year with the district games, attests to the change-over of leadership. “It has been smooth so far. These new folks bring a new enthusiasm to the task. Their planning that began in July has us moving forward and in good position to make the 24th renewal of the district games one of our best.”
Senior Olympics play is for men and women who will are 50 years of age or older by December 31 of this year.
The Northwest District games are part of and sanctioned by the Louisiana Senior Olympic Games which runs state competition in late summer. Competitors in table tennis, golf, javelin, shot put, discus, bowling singles and advanced horseshoes can qualify for the National Senior Games through the district and then Louisiana competition.
This year’s NW District play actually opens March 18 at Bellaire Fitness Center with a closed competition, Beanbag Baseball for Senior Residence Community teams. Committee members Marilyn and Dick Hainey, who helped popularize Beanbag Baseball by the way they developed the Senior Residence Communities competition, are back in the lead again.
Marilyn Hainey will direct Washer Pitch competition May 2 and all Bowling (Mixed May 11, Doubles May 13, Singles May 18 at All Star Lanes, and Scotch Doubles May 20, 9-Pin No Tap May 25 and Team May 27 at Holiday Lanes.
OPERNING CEREMONIES AND HEALTH FAIR
Comstock and board member Gary Calligas have combined to shift the site of the Opening Ceremonies and Health Fair to Diamond Jack’s Casino Expo Hall at 9 a.m. Monday, March 28. Callegas’ Best of Times Productions joins forces with the NW District to carry out the Games’ grand opening. Darts and Accuracy Throws (football and Frisbee) will begin at 10 a.m. as part of the opening and the darts competition will be held in honor of the late Harry Strain.
Comstock also is in charge of the Games closing ceremonies Tuesday, May 31, at the KC Hall (10 a.m.)
Duane Chilton takes over Open Beanbag Baseball play March 26 and it returns to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bossier City. Chilton also is the director of Track and Field May 21 at Airline High School.
Lionel Brangham has assumed production of the NW District entry form which will go into the mail to 2015 participants on or before February 10. Forms also will be available at parish Councils on Aging in the seven parishes that make up the district, Webster, Bienville, Claiborne, Desoto, Red River, Caddo and Bossier. Forms will be at selected pro shops and sporting goods stores in the Bossier-Shreveport area.
For the 13th season, copies of Seniorific Magazine will be given each district entrant, along with a Jerry Harris’ designed commemorative T-shirt.
Basic entry fee for the district games is $15.00, entitling a person to as many events as he or she chooses. Added facility fees will apply in bowling ($10 for each event), miniature golf ($5) and golf ($35 for cart and greens fee). The Celebration brunch will cost $5 per athlete and $5 for guests (one per athlete).
Telephone 318- 658-3811 or 318-464-0271 for additional information.