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Let the 2009 Manteca Senior Games begin

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Let the 2009 Manteca Senior Games begin

Sprinter Hubert Evans was at Saturday's opening reception. He will be competing in the 100m, 200m, and the 50m on Wednesday during the Senior Olympics track events at Sierra High.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED April 26, 2009 2:14 a.m.
The 2009 Manteca Senior Games have officially begun.

More than a hundred people turned out at Del Webb Woodbridge Saturday evening for the opening ceremonies of Manteca first-ever regional hosting of the statewide games that those 50 and over can qualify for.

According to Manteca Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Linda Abeldt, 300 people from throughout the Western United States have signed up to participate in the activities that run thorough next week.

“Normally it takes about a year to plan something like this, and we only had three months to do it so we’re really happy with the turnout that we have this year,” Abeldt said – nothing that some people traveled from out of state to participate in the only qualifying games being held this year in Northern California. “We’re expecting a large turnout next week when we start things like pickleball.”

With Del Webb hosting the event, those who attended the opening ceremonies were treated to a chicken and tri-tip meal from Fagundes Catering Co. as well as live music from a band that featured 50’s era music.

With BMX held Saturday the track in Atwater because Manteca’s isn’t quite finished yet, karate was on the only event held in town on the first day of the games.

“We had a good turnout at the event – especially considering that there were only three months to put this all together,” said Robin Taberna – who teaches taekwondo at the Boys and Girls Club and earned a medal in Saturday’s competition. “We had people coming from Oakland, Sacramento, even Bakersfield.

“It’s good to see people coming from outside of town to participate in an event like this.”

Pickleball games set for Tuesday & Wednesday
Pickleball – a wildly popular game about Senior Games participants – takes place at the Manteca Regional tennis Center on North Union Road. The women’s doubles and the men’s doubles start at 8 a.m. Tuesday followed by the mixed doubles at 1 p.m. The women’s singles and men’s singles are at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

Pickleball is essentially a paddle game on a badminton-sized court that involves playing with a special perforated slow-moving ball.

The ball is served underhand. No bouncing from the court is allowed.

Pickleball started in 1965 when bored kids prompted two fathers – one Congressman Joel Prtichard of Washington State – to dream up the game on his family’s asphalt badminton court in the back yard. It combines badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. The name came because the family’s cocker spaniel named “Pickles” kept stealing the ball.

The three-day softball tournament starts Tuesday at 8 a.m. at the BLD complex.

Field events get underway Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at Sierra High followed by track events at 3 p.m.
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