The Razorvet Team, from Fayetteville, Arkansas, competed in the National Veterans Golden Age Games, bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals in 11 out the 17 events. The Razorvets represented all eight age classifications.
The national multi-event sports competition strives to improve the health and quality of life of Veterans 55 and older. The games happen annually, and Veterans can participate regardless of their ability level. This year Des Moines, Iowa, hosted the games May 20-25, 2023.
In the spirit of the Olympic style games, Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks Veterans (VHSO) athletes trained weekly for the past year with their coach, Bradley Anderson, MS, OTR and Jamey May, Peer Support Specialist, at the Springdale Recreation Center. The 19 Athletes call themselves Razorvets to represent the Fayetteville Razorbacks. And represent they did! They brought home 10 gold metals, 14 silver metals, 7 bronze metals and 13 4-5 ribbons.
“It’s an honor and privilege to support, train and coach such an incredible group of Veteran Athletes.” Said Bradley Anderson, VHSO Occupational Therapist. “It’s because of their dedication and commitment I have this great opportunity.”
Most VHSO Veterans first learned about National Golden Age Games when Fayetteville Medical Center hosted in 2014. Back then events included air rifle, bowling, cycling, field (discus, shot, javelin), golf, horseshoes, mind sports (checkers, dominoes), nine-ball, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis and track. The events have evolved through the years, adding pickleball, cornhole, disc golf and more.
The Golden Age Games focuses on health and well-being of Veteran who are 55 and older. The games promote the importance of exercise as Veterans get older and encourages athletes to continue participating physical activity and athletic events in their home communities.
The athletes deserve kudos both for their military service and their ongoing dedication to stay active as shown by their efforts in the National Golden Age Games. The National Golden Age Games is a great opportunity for Veterans across the country to reunite and hopefully inspire their brother and sisters to stay physically active no matter their age or ability. Pat Groce a VHSO Razorvets agrees. But if you ask Pat Groce, VHSO Army Veteran, she would tell you she participates for the metals and comradery.
“I have met wonderful people around the country.” Said Pat Groce, Army Veteran. “Every year when I go to the Golden Age Games, I look for my friends from other states. It’s wonderful to catch up with them.”
For more information visit; National Veterans Golden Age Games - National Veterans Sports Programs (va.gov)