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Organizers preparing for inaugural ‘Hastings Community Olympics’

September 12, 2018

The Hastings Parks and Recreation Department wants you to gather co-workers, neighbors, family and friends and compete in eight activities.

The Parks and Rec Department has partnered with Pastime Lanes and the Hastings Family YMCA for the inaugural Hastings Community Olympics on Sept. 28-29, a Friday and Saturday.

Community olympics are something the Parks and Rec Department have wanted to do for several years following the success of similar events in Grand Island and Kearney.

“They have huge turnouts, and the community really comes together to do this event,” said Landon Arnold, recreation coordinator for the city of Hastings. “We’re like ‘If they can do it, why can’t we?’ We really want to bring the community of Hastings together with a big event like that. We’re hoping to get as big as Grand Island and Kearney.”

The cost is $15 per participant. Register at the Parks and Rec Office and Community Center, 2015 W. Third St.

Community olympics are the first major project for Arnold, who started in his position in June.

The desire with the activities selected for the community olympics, he said, is to create an inclusive event.

“We’re offering eight events, so we’re trying to cater to everyone,” he said. “We’re doing some that are athletic, but others are not. Everyone’s different. Whether you’re young or old, we want something for you.”

Activities include spot shot, ping pong, bowling and quiz bowl on Friday; sand volleyball, capture the flag, putt putt and tug of war on Saturday.

“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible, to not be running around town the whole day,” Arnold said.

The event kicks off Friday with spot shot — two partners try to make as many basketball shots as possible in 1 minute from pre-determined spots — and doubles ping pong, both at 6:30 p.m., on the community center basketball court.

One goal for community olympics, Arnold said, is to connect the community.

“To get to know the other businesses around town is really what our goal is — just to get everybody together and get together with people you may not be with regularly,” he said.

Tug of war, which takes place in the sand volleyball pits at Libs Park, is the grand finale.

“We don’t want any other event going on while tug of war is there,” Arnold said. “We want everybody to be at tug of war because we’re making this event worth more points than the others. If your team is falling behind and you win tug of war, that can give you a chance to take the lead.”

Awards will follow the tug of war.

Teams need at least six members for sand volleyball. Arnold said the Parks and Rec Department is recommending at least 10 members because some of the events are happening at the same time.

Volleyball is the longest activity, beginning at 9 a.m. and scheduled to last until 2 p.m.

Every match is the best of three sets to 15.

“We don’t want anybody to play one game and be eliminated right away,” Arnold said.

Teams have until Sept. 14 to register. The Parks and Rec department is ordering a T-shirt for each participant and needs that time for the order.

Arnold said there is some wiggle room for late registrations but that process needs to be wrapped up early the following week, probably on Monday.

“We’re getting a lot of interest,” he said of teams. “Now we’re just hoping people act on that interest.”

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