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Reno-Tahoe Senior Winter Games cancelled due to COVID-19

By Jeri Chadwell
A competitor stands ready to return a ball during mixed doubles pickleball at the 2019 Reno/Tahoe Winter Senior Games.

The City of Reno announced today that its Parks and Recreation Department has cancelled the 2021 Reno-Tahoe Senior Winter Games as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the latest regional, state and federal guidance related to COVID-19 safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—among adults, the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at the highest risk.

The State of Nevada has extended the restrictions in place under the current “Pause” in Nevada for the next month – through Jan. 15. This includes strict limits on public gatherings.

As of Dec. 20, there have been 411 COVID-19-related deaths in Washoe County. More than 90% of those deaths have been in the 50 or older age group. The Senior Games are normally open to athletes 50 or older.

Started in 2013, the Reno-Tahoe Senior Games is modeled after senior games hosted in other cities across the nation. The winter games usually have between one and two dozen different events ranging from cross-country skiing to bocce ball to indoor rock climbing. Card games such as cribbage and poker are also generally offered. In past years, pickleball has been the most popular event.

The Games would have occurred two months from now in February, but the announcement is being made early as the community is normally planning and registering for the event during this time. Unfortunately, the City of Reno was also forced to cancel the 2020 Reno-Tahoe Senior Summer Games, last summer.

“Our top priority is the safety of participants and employees,” said Jaime Schroeder, City of Reno Parks and Recreation Director in a press release. “Unfortunately, it’s just not prudent to hold this event during a pandemic. We know our seniors very much look forward to the Senior Games, and we’re disappointed to have to cancel again. On a positive note, we’re still looking forward to putting on the Summer Games later this year.”

The City of Reno would like to remind all age groups that limited recreational opportunities are currently available, as some facilities and amenities are open, including pools. All individuals are required to wear a face covering unless they are actively swimming, or have an exemption outlined in Emergency Directive 024. For more information, visit Reno.gov/ParksandRec.

Seniors seeking physical activity and interaction may want to look into the University of Nevada, Reno’s, Sanford Center for Aging, which is still planning to run its Fit & Strong—albeit on online, for now. Seniors with a Zoom-capable device like a tablet, laptop or desktop can participate in the program from home.

The Fit&Strong!@Home program starts Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, beginning March 1 and continuing until April 28, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Learn more here.

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