Durham Senior Divas ‘N Dude bring back the gold

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

“You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing,” is the mantra the Durham Senior Divas ‘n Dude live by. It is evident that age is just a number on this team as they actively participate in many programs, activities and events in Durham.

Founded in February 2004, the Durham Divas ‘n Dude is sponsored by the YMCA of the Triangle and maintains a busy schedule competing, performing and participating in statewide activities. The team ranges in age from 55 to 80 but nobody complains about being able to keep up. You don’t have to tell us to “Play More,” said Louise Gooche, founder and team captain. “We practice every week for hours so that we can stay physically fit. We don’t just practice, we have fun and enjoy recreational activities as well.”

Despite their active schedule they managed to win a gold medal this fall at the annual North Carolina Senior Games (NCSG). State champions and gold medal recipients six times over, the team also has received two silver medals and one bronze medal at the state championship games held every year in Raleigh.

The Durham Divas ‘n Dude were  among the 11 squads participating in the competition this year representing Orange, Wake, Cabarrus, Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Carteret, Richmond, Gaston, Yadkin and Wilson counties.

NCSG is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing year-round health promotion and education for adults 55 and older. Senior Games is sponsored statewide by the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services and is part of a statewide network of 53 local programs. Durham residents interested in participating in the state finals next year must compete on a local level in April 2014. SilverArts, the statewide heritage, visual, literary and performing arts program; SilverLiners senior line dancing program and SilverStriders national award winning walking program are among the many areas of competition available.

As a team, they also enjoy the many programs, activities and events at Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR). The Durham Divas ‘n Dude will make a guest appearance at Durham’s Holiday Fun Fest Dec. 7 at Durham Central Park from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Many of them will also attend the Senior Holiday Party Dec. 10 from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center.

There are many other programs and activities for persons 55 or older offered by DPR’s mature adult unit. Participants can travel, get fit, learn something new, meet new friends, and most of all, Play More. For more information about DPR events visit www.DPRPlayMore.org, call 919-560-4355, or like us on Facebook.

Cynthia D. Booth is public affairs specialist with the City of Durham’s Parks and Recreation Department.