The Louisiana Governor’s Games, the state’s premier annual sporting event for amateur sports enthusiasts, will kick start Saturday, March 14 with a day-long Tae Kwan Do competition and many more events scheduled through June.
Now in their 18th year, the games are more successful than ever, with 20,000 kids and adults expected to compete starting this weekend in Baton Rouge.
Open to competitors statewide, the Governor’s Games feature 52 sporting events that provide an opportunity for competition and fitness for all ages and skill levels. Thirty of the events are new this year, and registered competitors range from age eight to 80. Registration is still open atwww.LAGovernorsGames.org.
The Governor’s Games, a program sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, is part of the council’s strategy to encourage healthy behavior among Louisianans through participation in sports and fitness programs. The multi-competition program is hosted in five cities throughout the state, challenging people to compete in various Olympic-style events: basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, boxing, bowling, soccer, tennis, track and field, girls’ softball, youth baseball, and more.
Experienced sports commissioners are overseeing the events to provide an Olympic-style atmosphere withgold, silver and bronze medals being awarded to the top finishers.
This Saturday’s competition, which features Tae Kwan Do, begins at 7:30 a.m. at Family Christian Academy located at 9119 World Ministry Ave. in Baton Rouge. The event is expected to last until 6 p.m.
Thirteen other events are scheduled in Baton Rouge, and others will take place in New Orleans, Lafayette, Shreveport and Lake Charles.
Rudy Macklin, executive director of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, says these events not only benefit the participants but also the host cities.
“It’s been our experience in doing the Governor’s Games since 2005 that participants come from as far as sixty miles away, and some even come from neighboring states,” said Macklin. “Even though it’s just a one-day event, an influx of thousands of people can be a significant boost to the local economy.”
Last year, more than 60 percent of Louisiana adults were considered overweight or obese. This ranks Louisiana as one of the unhealthiest states in the nation—a statistic that underscores many of our health care issues. The goal of the Louisiana Governor’s Games is to promote health and physical fitness for Louisiana residents as well as showcase the achievements of the athletes in a championship setting.
“The Governor’s Games are a wonderful opportunity to continue teaching the importance of regular physical fitness,” said Alan Levine, secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals. “We need to do all we can to make sure our children and adults are getting the exercise they need and appreciate a healthy lifestyle.”
For a complete list of games, to track results and more, visit www.LaGovernorsGames.org. Information is also available at 1-866-562-9015.
Affiliated with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports promotes physical fitness and health through participation in competitive sports, workshops and conferences. Its 15 members are appointed by the Governor.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov.