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story.lead_photo.caption Stephany Hinton, left, assists Lillie Roark as she and Russell Coleman, at right, participate Tuesday in a boat race during the annual Missouri Health Care Association's District 7 2019 Golden Age Games at Capital West Christian Church Event Center. Roark and Coleman are residents at Adams Street Place — one of eight area nursing homes — and participated in the day's events. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

It's fair to say some of the participants in Missouri Health Care Association's Golden Age Games were anxious Tuesday.

The anxiety wasn't about how they were going to perform; it was about getting started.

These seniors really wanted to compete.

About 130 people attended the annual District 7 competition, which has occurred for more than 25 years, said Michelle Walters, director of meetings and events for the nonprofit organization.

The organization is the state's largest association of licensed, long-term health care and assisted-living facilities, according to its website. District 7 encompasses 16 counties, including Cole, Miller, Morgan, Boone, Osage and Callaway.

Nine facilities from the region brought clients Tuesday morning to Jefferson City to participate in the competitions.

"It's just a way to get residents from long-term care facilities in the area out," Walters said. "It is outside of everyday, normal care."

The residents started the event by sharing a cheer or song from each of the nine facilities represented at the competition.

Then they fanned out and participated in sailboat races (in which they pushed sailboats along a trough of water with a squirt bottle), ladder golf (tossing two balls tied together with a string over ladder rungs), indoor horseshoe toss, a rubber chicken toss and bingo.

Following lunch, they competed in dance, trivia, hog-calling and pie-eating contests.

"It's a fun day for them," Walters said. "As they play games, they win prizes."

The seniors won sweets, snacks and beverages at stations where they played each game.

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