Staying in the Game: Polk Games Help Seniors Stay Active and Involved
Central Florida Health News|April 2020
DURING HER YOUNGER YEARS in her Michigan hometown, Dot Van Farowe says she participated in a variety of sports and leisure activities.
PAUL CATALA

But at 91 years old, Van Farowe’s days of “pass, punt and kick” football, playing basketball, water and snow skiing and long jumps are over. But that hasn’t stopped the Lakeland resident from continuing to take part in the annual Polk Senior Games.

The Senior Games, which this year were held from Feb. 29 to March 12, have been held in the county since 1992. Open to anyone 50 and older, the games are designed to promote friendly competition, fellowship, health, wellness and volunteerism and are qualifiers for the state and national Senior Games. They provide challenges for serious competitors, recreational participants and the physically challenged.

Most of the events are grouped by gender in five-year age increments. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in each event and age division and Polk County residency isn’t required.

During the bowling competition in Lakeland’s Orange Bowl Lanes bowling alley March 11, Van Farowe, who retired as a registered nurse in 1994, bowls her second frame.

With a score of 113, Van Farowe, a seasonal Lakeland resident, says she’s having a bit of an “off-day” but is still having fun. She says the Polk Senior Games amount to more than just ribbons or trophies.

“The main thing is I’m happy to get up and do this; I’m very blessed. It’s just a fun thing and a fun way to meet people. The sports are fun, but I like to win, though,” she adds with a smirk, waiting for her next turn at the lane.

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