CHARLESTON, W. Va. – The West Virginia Senior Sports Classic will return for its 28th year in July, with events located in and around the Kanawha Valley.
On Wednesday at Laidley Field, Classic board members and Charleston leaders helped announce the return of the games to be held July 8-23. The event did not occur during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The West Virginia Senior Sports Classic is a member of the National Senior Games Association, which holds similar events in all 50 states. The top 3 entrants from each sport qualify for the Senior National Games in May 2023 in Pittsburgh, PA.
West Virginia Senior Games offers 13 individual and team sports, including golf, swimming, pickleball, table tennis, tennis, racquetball, track and field, basketball, volleyball, bowling, 5k, 10k bike race and softball.
Harold Vealey, a WV Senior Sports Classic basketball player, told 580-WCHS that he and his team are doing this for health and wellness. The team even found a way to play during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re all skinny guys. We play two days a week on Wednesdays and Fridays. We never miss. During COVID-19 we played outside with our masks on,” Vealey said.
Vealey is a member of the 80-84-year-old state basketball team that just won silver at the National Games in Fort Lauderdale. Vealey said the majority of his team was made up of guys he played basketball with at Stonewall High School in the mid-1950s.
Vealey credited the chemistry of playing for years together for the team’s success. He called the team’s family. The team will compete in basketball on July 16 at West Virginia State University.
“They are my lifelong friends. If something happens to a family, we all step in. It’s outside of basketball,” Vealey said.
Pat Lyons, who won swimming gold at the National Games in Fort Lauderdale, was in attendance Wednesday.
The West Virginia Senior Sports Classic expects to attract over 300 participants.
For more information on the classic, call 304-205-1565.