For the first time since 2019, Barbados is set to host the National Senior Games 2023, from June 10 to 25.

This year’s games will see participants taking part in 15 disciplines, along with the introduction of two new ones – volleyball and swimming. It will also see the track and field events being held between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the Usain Bolt Complex on June 24 and 25.

Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, <strong>Kirk Humphrey</strong>, and coordinator of the Games, <strong>Captain Michael Jules</strong>, outlined the plans for the return of the games during a press briefing at the Ministry's Warrens, St. Michael offices, Tuesday morning.

Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey, and coordinator of the Games, Captain Michael Jules, outlined the plans for the return of the games during a press briefing at the Ministry’s Warrens, St. Michael offices, Tuesday morning.

Mr. Humphrey also disclosed that there were plans to honour three athletes, particularly those who helped to build the games, and make special accommodations for persons with disabilities.

“We want to invite the entire public to come out to the games; families, come out and support your family; come out and support your friends and have a friendly yet competitive environment to support the senior athletes who have done a lot for Barbados in one way or another,” he said.

Captain Jules outlined that the disciplines involved in this year’s games include archery, chest, cycling, darts, dominos, road tennis, squash, swimming, table tennis, basketball, netball, volleyball and track and field.

He explained that the games will be held over two weeks, with chest listed as being first out of the blocks on June 10. It will run for five days.

The coordinator noted that some events will be held over one day, while others, such as dominos, will be played over a number of days.

Captain Jules said the big finale of track and field over two days – June 24 and 25 – will allow athletes to compete in an unlimited number of events.

He further explained that one of the new features for this year’s competition will see over 200 swimmers converging on Carlisle Bay and swimming in the open water for a set distance. They will receive a medal of achievement on completion.

It would not be a competition for them, but more so, the opportunity for them to say I can swim and can cover a certain distance. We will determine what that distance is,” he said.

Captain Jules said there would also be a pool event at the Aquatic Centre, where swimmers will participate in 50-metre to 800-metre freestyle events.

He noted that a manual would be provided for each discipline and placed on social media and the Ministry’s website. Those manuals, he said, will outline the event times, days, venues, instructions for participating, and an online registration form.

However, while this year’s games are still in the planning phase, organisers are already looking to host next year’s event, with the possibility of regional and international participants competing. (BGIS)

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