The 2013 Arizona Indian Council on Aging (AICOA) Senior Games took place at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on April 18, as part of the 25th Annual AICOA Conference.
More than 400 seniors competed in numerous outdoor events throughout the morning; the games ended at noon. Competitive seniors lined up for the individual events, which included archery, basketball throw, beanbag toss, bow and arrow, chicken throw, lawn bowling, horseshoe throw, obstacle course, paper crunch and stackers.
The team games were chair volleyball and team aerobic dance.
The seniors received colored ribbons for each event they entered; even if they were not able to complete the event, they earned a ribbon for their participation. Each event has a ribbon of a different color.
“I really liked the bow-and-arrow competition,” said Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community senior J.J. Antone. “I really liked the cultural language class the conference had as well.”
“I thought the games were really fun. I liked all of them. You also get to see old friends or make new ones at the games,” said Community senior Lorinda Kauakahi.
Community senior La Berta Collins said this was her first time participating in the AICOA Senior Games. “I got seven ribbons from the games,” said Collins. “I also liked the conference. I learned a lot, but also there was a lot of overcrowding, and many of the speakers who[m] I wanted to see didn’t show up.”
“This year there was not that many adaptive leisure games, but I always have fun at the conference seeing old and new friends from different communities,” said Community senior Benita Martinez.
“Well, for me, the chair volleyball games [were] very challenging because it was very windy; [the wind was a problem] especially when I tried the bow-and-arrow competition,” said Community senior Vicky Anton. “But I liked the conference. Overall, I learned a lot.”