Participants 50 and older need to pencil in a date on their calendar. The Mid-Carolina Senior Games are scheduled to return to Pope Army Airfield, April 19.

Held annually, the games promote health and wellness and include events such as racquetball, standing and running long jump, basketball shooting, spin casting, softball and football throw, shot put and discus.

In the arts category, athletes may produce poems, essays, short stories, quilts, pottery and woodcarving, among others.

Cheerleading squads and line dancers may showcase their routines in a Silver Arts live performance. According to program literature, Silver Arts unites the athlete and artist with the recognition that discipline and dedication is needed for accomplishment in both endeavors.

The games are part of a network of 53 local games in all 100 North Carolina counties.

Seniors who medal at the MCSG qualify for the North Carolina Senior Games State Finals, held each fall in Raleigh, North Carolina, and for the Senior Olympics, held every two years.

Volunteers are needed at both the local and state senior games. Duties include helping to set up facilities, score keeping, presenting awards and giving hugs.

This year marks the games’ 31th anniversary, said Tracy Davis, MCSG health promotion coordinator and information/referral specialist. All opening ceremonies have been held at Pope. They are typically held at Hercules Fitness Center or field.

“We’re lucky to have that partnership,” Davis explained.

The tagline for the games will be “Reach Out to New Horizons,” said Davis, who encourages seniors to participate.

“(Come out) for the fun and the fitness; the friendship…,” said Davis.

For more information about the Mid-Carolina Senior Games, visit www.mccog.org/aging_seniorgames.asp or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Mid-Carolina-Senior-Games/142817339134751.