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Registration Open for 24th National Veterans Golden Age Games!

November 20, 2009

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Andrew Burks, an Air Force veteran, swims for the gold during the 2007 National Veterans Golden Age Games in Houston.


A qualifier for the National Senior Games, the Games will attract more than 700 Veterans.

DES MOINES, IA – Registration is now underway for the 24th National Veterans Golden Age Games, coming to Des Moines and Iowa for the first time this May.  This is an excellent opportunity for local Veterans to compete in sports and recreation events with Veterans from across the Nation.  Competition will be held May 27 – 31, 2010 at the Iowa Events Center.  Registration ends February 15, 2010.  To register, call 1-877-806-8424 or email or visit the Games’ Web site at to learn more about the Games.  All Veterans registered for care at any Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility are eligible to compete.

The Games is the Nation’s largest annual senior sports event for military Veterans age 55 and older in the world and began as a way of providing therapeutic recreation to older Veterans.   Now the Games are serious sports competitions for those wishing to aspire to a higher level by competing in the 2011 National Senior Games or other competitions.

The National Veterans Golden Age Games is co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and Veterans Canteen Service (VCS).  The VA Central Iowa Health Care System in Des Moines will host the 2010 event.

The competitive events will be held at venues throughout the community to include the Iowa Events Center, Blank Golf Course, Drake University, AMF Bowling Center, Florer Park, South East Polk High School, Big Dog’s Billiards as well as Gray's Lake Beach.  Events include swimming, bicycling, croquet, discus, shot put, table tennis, air rifle, nine-ball, bowling, horseshoes, shuffleboard, checkers and dominoes.  The Veterans compete in ambulatory, wheelchair and visually impaired divisions, in specific age groups.  Many of the competitors are Veterans of World War II and the Korean War, but the highest number competing is Vietnam era Veterans, which is increasing every year as our World War II Veterans decrease in attendance.

Opening ceremonies for the 2010 Games will be held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.  Closing ceremonies will be held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium as well, on Monday, May 31, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.  The public is welcome to attend all competitive events and ceremonies and become fans in the stands to cheer our athletes on to victory.  Admission is free.

Local sponsorship of the Games is being accepted from area and national businesses and professional groups.  Also, more than 1,000 volunteers are needed to assist with a full range of exciting activities throughout this year’s Games.  Information about sponsorship opportunities and volunteer registration may be obtained by contacting Liz Nealy at 713.794.7872 or