Chattanooga, Tenn. - Senior athletes of all ages and skill levels across the state are already gearing up for the 2012 Tennessee Senior Olympic games.

Area seniors ages 50 and older are invited to showcase their athletic abilities and share in some friendly competition at the Chattanooga District Senior Olympics, scheduled for May 7 - 12, 2012 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Individuals will compete within five-year age groups, starting at age 50. Participants who are 49 years old are eligible to participate in the district and state games as long as they turn 50 before the end of 2012.

Events include badminton, basketball free throw, basketball 3 on 3, bowling, cycling 5K and 20K, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, racquetball, 5K Road race, rowing, shuffleboard, softball tournament, softball throw, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and weightlifting.

All participants in each event at the district level will advance to the state competition July 13-19, 2012, in Williamson County,Tenn.

"The games are designed to promote camaraderie and teamwork among fellow senior athletes, all while emphasizing the fact that exercise is important at any age," said Christine Dewbre, executive director of the Tennessee Senior Olympics.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, presenting sponsor and a long-time supporter of the Tennessee Senior Olympics, helped establish the games in 1981. Now entering their 32nd year, the Tennessee Senior Olympics founders and sponsors are still steadfastly dedicated to promoting healthy and active lifestyles among seniors.

According to Dr. Inga Himelright, chief medical officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the games help immensely to motivate and encourage the adaptation of an active lifestyle.

"An active lifestyle for seniors means a better quality of life," said Himelright. "Staying fit and participating with other area seniors in these games is a step in the right direction."

Joining BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee as sponsors of the Chattanooga District games are Alexian Brothers Senior Neighbors, Chattanooga Parks and Recreation, and Walgreens.

The deadline for District Senior Olympics registration is April 2, 2012. For information or an application, please call Samantha Parker at 423-755-6114, e-mail at sparker@alexianbrothers.net, or visit the event Web site, www.tnseniorolympics.com.