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Valley residents big winners at Senior Games

| Saturday, June 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Aldina Cialone of Monongahela leads in the Monongahela Senior center with the American Flag during the parade of athletes a the 2013 Senior Games, at the Charleroi Area School District.

Valley residents were big winners in the 2013 Senior Games, held recently at Charleroi Stadium.

Roughly 700 athletes competed at the 27th annual games.

The Olympic-style competition involves individual competitions in the one-mile walk, 50-yard dash, basketball toss, bocce, casting, football throw, horseshoes, putting, shuffleboard, softball throw and stationary bike.

SPHS Aging Services joined Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency in sponsoring the 2013 Senior Games to help promote health and wellness among mature adults. Corporate sponsors include Highmark BlueCross Blue Shield, Range Resources, Charleroi Federal Savings Bank, Consol Energy, Coventry Health Care/HealthAmerica Advantra, Monongahela Valley Hospital, SeniorLIFE and The Valley Independent. Additional event sponsors, to date, are Advanced Surgical Hospital, Highway Appliance, Information Age Technologies, Inc., Keystone Bakery and Lee Supply.

This year's theme was “energy” and the slogan, “Spark Your Energy,” was chosen to draw attention to the influence of the energy industry in southwestern Pennsylvania

“There is more and more evidence that physical activity is fundamental to good health, longevity, independence and quality of life,” said Leslie Grenfell, executive director, Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging Inc. “We believe that the Senior Games contributes significantly toward lifestyles that support the wellness of its participants.

“This year, the Senior Games brought together a 40-year age span of competitors—ranging from 51 to 91. For the first time, mothers and daughters and fathers and sons were competing in the same event.”

Caroline Marella, for instance, competed for the first time at 51 earning gold medals in the 1-mile walk, football throw and softball throw; and her mother, Anna Marella, at 82 won a gold in horseshoes and a silver in the softball throw. Both are from Masontown,

“The success of the 2013 Senior Games, which is our largest health and wellness event each year, is attributed to the athletes and spectators, as well as volunteers and staff,” Grenfell added.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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