22 • Sports TravelMagazine.com October/November 2017
Golden Age Games Flourish
fer a convention center that’s at least
200,000 square feet so that we can set
up the majority of our events indoor in
As for hotels, Tostenrude said the
event needs 600 to 900 rooms that have
large enough doors and floor plans to
handle someone in a wheelchair, and
that can accommodate family mem-
bers, caregivers and coaches over the
course of eight days.
The National Veterans Golden Age
Games started in 1985 in Albany, Georgia, with about 115 competitors. At its
recent staging in Biloxi, Mississippi, in
May, a record 783 veterans competed.
The Golden Age Games serve as a
“Our motto is ‘fitness for life,’ so we
qualifying event for the National Senior
Games. Veterans do not have to be dis-
abled to participate; they just have to be
at least 55 years old and eligible for V.A.
health-care benefits. Of those who com-
peted this year, 50–75 needed a wheel-
chair or participated in the visually
impaired division, said Jeanene LeSure,
administrative officer for the games.
focus on not just what happened the
week of the games, but we’re involved
with veterans year-round,” she said.
The event has the flexibility to be
housed in spaces ranging from 70,000
to 300,000 square feet. In 2014, the
event went to Fayetteville, Arkansas,
where there was no large convention
center, so competition took place primarily at college facilities. The event
needs one to four hotels that can accommodate a hotel room block of
about 700 nights over a week or so.
This year, organizers chose the Gulf
Coast cities of Biloxi and Gulfport,
impressed by the region’s convenient
facilities, large military presence and
community support, since up to 3,000
volunteers are needed to help during
a week of the games. Gulfport’s past
401.456.0240 | JGibbons@GoSportsRI.com
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doesn’t mean you should. Bring your next sporting
event to Rhode Island for the outstanding courts,
fields and arenas. But stay for so much more –
hundreds of miles of coastline, world-class dining,
and fun family activities. We’re more than a sporting
destination. We’re a sporting vacation.