OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – Over 200 Muscogee elder citizens gathered at the Claude Cox Omniplex for the 10th Annual MCN Elder Games 2022.
As a part of the Festival celebration, there will be another event for the elderly on Friday, June 24, at the Elderly Nutrition Center, 2975 Martha Berryhill Ave. Okmulgee, OK.
Elder games are sponsored by the Elder Services Department in partnership with the Diabetes Program and the Youth Services Program, which assist with games and events.
All enrolled elders that are 55 and older were eligible to participate.
The event kicked off with a half-mile walk and included corn hole toss, free throw contest, softball throwing contest, horseshoes, and jacks.
Each event had a first, second, and third place for men and women 55-65 and 66 and older.
Panera Beard catered the breakfast with McAlister’s Deli for lunch.
According to Office Manager Christy Boone, her last count was 225 participants, an average number for this event in the past.
“This is one of our most successful events,” Boone said.
It gives the elders a chance to socialize, but it allows them to have a friendly competition.
“They are very competitive,” Boone said, laughing.
She claims to get nothing but positive feedback from the participants.
“We just like to get them together to visit, have fun with physical activity, just come out to have a good time,” Boone said.
Due to COVID, the event has been on stand-by over the last couple of years.
Boone claims that COVID is not a worry for them at this time.
“Since everything is outdoors, we didn’t have any requirements,” Boone said.
She said the only suggestion was for each elder to do what makes them comfortable.
Community of Health and Wellness Coordinator Duane Meadows works with the Diabetes Prevention Program and recognizes many faces of the elders.
He claimed his role was the “umpire or referee” to help score and judge the games.
The elders who participated in the event were able to receive bonus points for the Walking Program and their overall fitness test score.
“As Native Americans, we are already at risk for diabetes,” Meadows said.
Many of the events were tailored for elder participation while allowing them to be still physical enough to promote diabetes prevention.
According to Meadows, this is typically the last of events of the season for his department, but he claims it feels like the first event in a while due to COVID.
The DPP usually has several events that help promote diabetes prevention for all ages around the reservation.
The DPP spoke with Mvskoke Media Livewire about the Walking Program on April 6.
For more information, visit www.creekhealth.org/services/diabetes-prevention/.