Opening Ceremony, Hundreds of Teams Highlight Second Weekend of the Games
July 18, 2011Bluegrass State Games
More than 6,300 people participated during the second weekend of the FHTM Bluegrass State Games, presented by Subway. One of the biggest weekends of the event, 17 events were held Friday through Sunday at venues throughout Central Kentucky.
The weekend began with the traditional Celebration of Athletes at Whitaker Bank Park in conjunction with the Lexington Legends baseball game. The event drew nearly 1,000 participants and their families who were able to play video games, play on inflatables and get autographs and pictures with University of Kentucky Head Football Coach Joker Phillips and former UK basketball standout and current New York Knick, Josh Harrellson.
The Games officially opened later in the evening when 4th-grade 5K participant Maddie Soard of Richmond, proclaimed the 2011 Games "Open," as Subway Restaurant's "Subman" finished the last leg of the torch run and lit the cauldron. The entire crowd of 5,850 was then treated to a fireworks show.
The weekend's competition began with the 5K race Saturday morning where approximately 250 runners took part. The rest of the weekend saw 16 more competitions including, a near-record 77 men's and women's softball teams and 142 youth soccer teams participated from across the Commonwealth.
Also, making its debut in the Games was TOPSoccer. The Outreach Program for Soccer is a community-based soccer program that is designed to meet the needs of individuals with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Teams competed at the Masterson Station complex in Lexington.
Attracting more than 16,500 Kentuckians of all ages to compete in more than 30 different sports in 2010, the event is one of the largest of its kind in the country. Created by then-Governor Martha Layne Collins in 1984, the Bluegrass State Games has annually provided fun, safe and exciting opportunities for generations of Kenutckians to compete in various events ever since.