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Forever young

Burbank Senior Games keep retirees active and allow them to compete and form friendships.

May 15, 2010|By Joyce Rudolph

The Burbank Senior Games offer the same benefits for seniors that the Olympic Games do for experienced athletes — a form of fitness, a chance to compete and make new friendships.

Seniors 55 and older have been gathering throughout the city this week competing in the 16th annual Burbank Senior Games, said Sharon Leech, social service coordinator for Joslyn Adult Center.

The 250 seniors were divided into playing 10 events — bowling, cribbage, a fun walk, golf, horseshoes, party bridge, men’s and women’s pool, Skip-Bo, tennis, Texas Hold ’Em poker and Wii bowling.


“I think the players have a whole lot of fun and enjoy the competitiveness,” Leech said. “It helps because sometimes it brings in new people. Friends are asked to come along, and it helps to broaden their world.”

Annette Fasteau of North Hollywood, a member of the McCambridge Park Tennis Club, has played in the Burbank Games a couple of times, she said.

“I like the people, and as you saw, the competition is really good,” she said during a break from play at the Burbank Tennis Center.

It was the second time Anita Davy of Burbank played in the Senior Games tennis match.

“I come out for the competition and exercise, but really it’s the social aspect,” she said.

It was Burbank resident Orlando Negrete’s first time as a competitor.

“I’ve been playing tennis for five years,” he said. “My wife saw a tennis class offered in a city brochure and said, ‘You are so athletic, why don’t you join a tennis class,’” he said.

“I took a tennis class, and they showed me the basics,” he said.

Negrete had been playing soccer, which he started while in his native Chile.

“Tennis is safer,” he said. “You don’t get kicked in the leg.”

He plans to return to the tournament next year, he said.

“I enjoyed it, and it’s good for your health,” he said.

Participating in the walking event at the Burbank Town Center were Burbank residents Sandra and Ron Coyne and Helen West, all regulars at the Don Tuttle Center.

The Coynes have been in the Senior Games for five years.

“We get exercise and meet people we have something in common with,” Ron Coyne said.

Winners receive trophies or medals, and some will get plaques, Leech said. For the winning cribbage players, they are given boards and cards and golfers receive golf balls.

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