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Mon, Jan. 20

Column: Meet the leaders of Prescott's Senior Olympics

The Prescott Sports Division has volunteer committees in many events and tournaments and I will highlight three of our Senior Olympic commissioners.

Jim Liberti is our leader. He works with our participants, our event commissioners, our local sponsors and our staff.

We are lucky that Jim started as a participant in the 1998 Prescott Senior Olympic Volleyball Tournament. In 1999, Jim again participated and acted as an assistant volleyball event commissioner.

Every year since, Jim has volunteered in the Prescott Senior Olympics, and he now leads and chairs other events in our annual games. He leads our sponsorships, our inventory, our video production and our program scheduling.

I asked Mr. Liberti why he became a volunteer in our Senior Olympics and he stated it was because he enjoyed the games and he knew he could help our Olympics.

According to Jim, in 2003, our Prescott Senior Olympics started obtaining statewide reputation. Many that now participate are tourists and have played in other community games, but have stated they have not been treated as well in other Senior Olympics.

For these upcoming 2010 Prescott Senior Olympics, Jim Liberti has received more sponsorship from our community then last year and this is incredible due to our economy.

For this year's events, Jim hopes for the Volunteer Event Commissioners and our participants to be happy. I believe since Jim Liberti will continue to lead, our games will be enjoyed.

If you want to play Prescott Senior Olympics, meet Jim Liberti.

Mr. Cal Cordes is the Prescott Senior Olympics commissioner for our horseshoes and bowling events.

Today, Mr. Cordes is only 83 years old. He started participating in horseshoes during his eighth grade, and since then, participated in state, regional, and national horseshoe championships.

In 1992, Cal took second in the Columbus Ohio World Championships.

Cal started as our horseshoe commissioner the first day our Watson Lake Horseshoes Complex was developed.

Cal Cordes started participating in bowling in 1963. For the past 26 years, he's competed in the annual Bowling Nationals, where his team once finished second.

I asked Cal why he continues to play horseshoes and bowl and the reason is because he has a passion in these sports, and playing helps him physically, mentally and socially.

He also has passion in basketball, football, baseball and softball, and although he doesn't compete today as he did a few years ago, he stays involved in our community.

The first time Cal Cordes visited Prescott was in 1926, the day he was born. He must have enjoyed being a tourist in our community.

He did not reside here then but did move back here to become a citizen in Prescott in 1959.

I asked Mr. Cordes why he volunteers in our Senior Olympics. He states he likes to payback things that people have done for him.

I believe Cal Cordes will help at least one person every day, without expecting one simple return. If you want to learn how to play horseshoes or bowling, meet Cal Cordes.

Mr. Jerry Northwood is the Prescott Senior Olympics racquetball commissioner.

Today, Mr. Northwood is only 73 years old and started playing racquetball in 1970. Prior to that, in the 50s and 60s, he enjoyed handball.

Mr. Northwood has competed in eight Huntsman Racquetball World Senior Games and even last year was awarded as the World Champion.

Mr. Northwood moved to Prescott in 1980. He started as an assistant in the Prescott Senior Olympic racquetball event in the late 90s and is now our racquetball commissioner and the event will be conducted at the Prescott Downtown Athletic Club.

I asked Mr. Northwood why he has decided to volunteer in our Senior Olympics. He stated he enjoys promoting, teaching and playing racquetball. His current passion is the sport of racquetball.

Years back, Mr. Northwood was an athlete in football and baseball. Perhaps next year, Jerry might oversee a new Prescott Senior Olympics Pickleball Event.

He believes this sport is the fast-growing senior activity. Four pickleball courts will be necessary to adequately facilitate this tournament event.

I hope many of our readers, 50 years of age and older, will participate in one or more of our 2010 Prescott Senior Olympic Games.

Yesterday, a new participant contacted me, 91 years of age, who is training today for our Senior Olympics Track & Field Events.

He will be running for the gold!

--Don Fishel is a recreation supervisor with the City of Prescott

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