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Seniors take center stage with week of games

Mbowlers Glenn Gilyeat (gold medal, 80-84), Del Reed (silver, 80-84), Myrt Kressin (gold, 80-84) and Gerald Fisher (gold, 85-89) were the first winners awarded with their medals in this year’s Bremerton West Sound Senior Games. - Photo by James Mange
Mbowlers Glenn Gilyeat (gold medal, 80-84), Del Reed (silver, 80-84), Myrt Kressin (gold, 80-84) and Gerald Fisher (gold, 85-89) were the first winners awarded with their medals in this year’s Bremerton West Sound Senior Games.
— image credit: Photo by James Mange

Let the games begin. The fourth annual Bremerton West Sound Senior Games started with bowling on Monday and wrap up today with eight different sports and an awards banquet. The 2007 games should prove to be the most popular since the inaugural year, with 149 athletes pre-registered in the 12-sport event.

Total participation is expected to be well over 200. The games are open to men and women 50 years and over (as of Dec. 31, 2007) and interested athletes can still participate.

Myrt Kressin was one of the early winners in this year’s games, claiming the gold medal in the women’s singles division of the 80-84 year old age group. Kressin, who started bowling in 1952, is a three-time winner in the Bremerton games. Like a top athlete at any level, Kressin is constantly critiquing her performance. “I’m not supposed to have my arm that high on my backswing anymore,” Kressin said while viewing a photo of herself in action.

The Bremerton games are a prelude to the Washington State Senior Games later this month and are sponsored by the city of Bremerton through the Parks and Recreation Department. “The city takes the lead,” said Holly Peterson, “but the games are really the work of the 12 volunteers who serve as the commissioners for each sport.”

The commissioners are Carol Johnson, women’s soccer; Chriss Kuykendall, swimming; Dave Rice, disc golf; Larry Bricker, tennis; Bob Becker, track and field; Greg Chapman, 5K off road run/walk; Lisa Garland, pool (8-ball); Bob Fredericks, racquetball; Gary Eaton, bowling; Ken Quitugua, table tennis; Scott Evans, 3-on-3 basketball (men); and Cynthia Engelgau, pickleball.

Pickleball is a particularly popular game this year, with more than 30 players lined up for the homegrown sport. Officially labeled a paddle sport, Pickleball is a combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. It was invented on Bainbridge Island by Bill Bell, Barney McCallum and former Washington Lieutenant Governor and U.S. Rep. Joel Pritchard. It is named after Pritchard’s dog, Pickles, who was famous for running away with the ball while the game was in its trial phase.

The game is now played nation wide under the auspices of the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA), with more than 500 schools in New York state alone include it in their curriculum. This year’s pickleball tournament was held yesterday morning at the Sheridan Park Community Center.

You can register at the events today. $30 covers all the events you can get to, plus the banquet, a T-shirt and plenty of free items.

Events still open today include:

5K off road run/walk, Kitsap Fairgrounds - 9 a.m.

Tennis, Lion’s Park - 9 a.m.

Table tennis, Sun Pavilion, Kitsap Fairgrounds - 9:45 a.m.

3 on 3 basketball (men), Sheridan Park Community Center - 10 a.m.

Bowling, All Star Lanes, Silverdale - 10 a.m.

Racquetball, Bremerton Tennis and Athletic Club - 11 a.m.

Track and Field, Bremerton High School, Memorial Field - 11 a.m.

Disc golf, Upper NAD Park

Sign-up, rules and technique instruction - 1 p.m.

18 hole tournament - 2 p.m.

Banquet, Sun Pavilion, Kitsap Fairgrounds - 6 p.m.

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