Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Birmingham Set to Host National Veterans Golden Age Games

Birmingham Set to Host National Veterans Golden Age Games

23rd Year of VA-Sponsored Sporting Competition

WASHINGTON (April 21, 2009) - From California to New York, an estimated
700 "golden age" Veterans will travel to Birmingham, Ala., to compete
June 1-5 in the world's largest sports and recreational competition for
senior Veterans.

The Golden Age Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or
older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical
facility. The games give participants the opportunity to compete in
ambulatory, visually-impaired and wheelchair divisions, according to
their ages. Events include swimming, bicycling, bowling, croquet, air
rifle, golf, shuffleboard, horseshoes, discus and shot put.

The 23rd National Veterans Golden Age Games are co-sponsored by VA, Help
Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS).
This year's event is hosted by the VA medical center in Birmingham.

The games are designed to improve the quality of life for all older
Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and
disabilities. Through a partnership with the National Senior Games
Association, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the games serve as
a qualifier for the National Senior Games held every other year.

"HHV is extremely pleased to continue its support of this wonderful
therapeutic program," said Mike Lynch, executive director of HHV. "The
games continue to demonstrate VA's commitment to offer programs that
help Veteran patients in their health recovery and to send the message
that Americans support their service to our country."

"The Golden Age Games continue to grow every year, and the athletes who
participate are testimony that the spirit of competition, camaraderie
and commitment to an actively invigorating lifestyle. This spirit not
only helps to prevent illness, it strengthens the hearts and rejuvenates
the soul," said Marilyn Iverson, director of the Veterans Canteen

The majority of the competitive events for the Golden Age Games,
including opening and closing ceremonies, will be held at the Birmingham
Jefferson Convention Center. The opening ceremony will take place at 7
p.m. on Monday, June 1. The competition begins with golf on Tuesday,
June 2, at 8 a.m., at Highland Golf Course. Closing ceremonies will be
held at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 5, at the convention center.

For more information on the Golden Age Games, log onto the games Web
site at www.Veteransgoldenagegames.va.gov
, or call Jenny Tankersley
Ballou, public affairs coordinator for the National Veterans Golden Age
Games, at (757) 728-3450 or (757) 660-5239.

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