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Georgia Games coming to Hall County area in July
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Georgia Games schedule of events

Judo: Saturday, Warren Holyfield Boys and Girls Club, Atlanta
Youth swimming: Saturday, Cobb County Central Aquatic Center
Diving: Saturday, Cobb County Aquatic Center
Equestrian: June 25-26, Red Horse Stables, Tyus
Trail race running: June 26, Rock Hawks Trails, Eatonton
Mountain biking: June 27, Rock Hawks Trails, Eatonton
Junior tennis: July 5-9, Harrison Tennis Center, Marietta
Raquetball: July 9-11, Athletic Club NE, Atlanta
Squash: July 9-11, Lifetime Fitness, Johns Creek
Youth baseball: July 9-11, Cobb County
Road race cycling: July 10, White
Trap and skeet shooting: July 10, Tom Lowe Shooting Range, Atlanta
Open swimming: July 10, Lake Acworth
Bowling: July 10-11, Brunswick Zone, Norcross
Youth softball: July 10-11, Cumming
Outdoor volleyball: July 10-11, Central Park, Forsyth County
Boys basketball: July 10-11, Cobb County
Wheelchair soccer: July 11, Fair Oaks Recreation Center
Badminton: July 11, University of Georgia
Criterium cycling: July 11, West Oak Business Park, Marietta
Time trial cycling: July 11, West Oak Business Park, Marietta
Sport clays and five stand shooting: July 11, Cherokee Rose Sporting Resort, Griffin
Water skiing: July 11-12, Lake Irene, Macon
Youth track and field: July 16-17: Marietta High School
Handball: July 16-18, Athletic Club NE, Atlanta
Combine: July 17, Marietta High School
Olympic archery: July 17, Rockdale County Soccer Complex
Rugby: July 17, Polo Club of Atlanta
HS air rifle shooting: July 17, Allatoona High School
Girls basketball: July 17-18, Cobb County
Youth lacrosse: July 17-18, Polo Club of Atlanta
Archery 3D: July 18, Sweetwater Archery Club, Douglasville
Olympic weightlifting: July 17, Newnan Recreation Center
Power weightlifting: July 17, Riverside Military Academy
Adult tennis: July 17-21, Harrison Tennis Center, Marietta
Open/master track and field: July 18, Marietta High School
Table tennis: July 18-19, Lucky Shoals Park, Norcross
Adult baseball: July 22-25, Cobb County
Boxing: July 24-25, Doraville Arena
BMX: July 31, Peachtree City Track
Run for life: July 31, Roberts Business Park, Kennesaw
Water polo: July 31-August 1: Cobb County Central Aquatic Center
Over the course of the next few months, several thousand amateur athletes will come together and compete in the Georgia State Games, a collection of more than 40 events focused on improving the physical fitness of Georgians of every age.

Two of these events will be held locally.

There will be a youth softball championship tournament for 10- to 18-year-old girls on July 10-11 in Cumming and a power weightlifting event on July 17 at Riverside Military Academy.

The softball event is held in conjunction with the Georgia Amateur Softball Association Class C State Tournament and consists of teams that participate in recreational leagues coming together in competition. Only teams which play in county recreation leagues are allowed to enter the tournament — a stipulation geared toward keeping the competition equal.

The ASA holds tournaments every summer for teams of all ages in an effort to offer girls a chance to compete outside of the normal recreation season. This will be the third year the Georgia Games and the ASA tournament have  teamed up to play host to one event.

Dennis Stanford of the Georgia ASA said the two organizations came together in an effort to increase public awareness and promotion of both. So far, Stanford has enjoyed his involvement with the Georgia Games organization.

“I’ve not had a lot of involvement besides the softball part, but I’m impressed,” he said. “There is a lot more that they do that I never knew.”

Known affectionately as the “grassroots olympics,” the series was created in 1990 to help promote and support the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.  

Alison Geist, the public relations coordinator for the games, said the goal of the non-profit organization is to “get people involved in sports and athletics and encourage the continued involvement among all Georgians.”

“We just want to keep the Olympic atmosphere of sportsmanship and athleticism going,” Geist said.

The influence of the Olympic Games is easy to see when looking at the July 17 weightlifting event. Weightlifting has been a part of the Olympics for more than a century.  

The United States Powerlifting Federation’s Georgia Chairman, Buddy Duke, thinks that the event allows more inexperienced young lifters to get involved in athletic events where they can compete with others on a similar level.

“This will be the second consecutive year we’ve had it at Riverside,” Duke said. “It is an excellent facility for hosting this event. It provides us with an arena that is better than any arena we’ve ever competed in.”

Duke’s goal in organizing the event is to provide athletes the opportunity “to be a winner, to get a trophy and to benefit from being on the platform.”

One way that Duke hopes to give more lifters the chance to become winners is by offering several different divisions, divided by gender and weight, so that the “competition is more equal.”

While certain events are mainstays at the Georgia Games, the organization also tries to keep up with current sporting interests in the state.

“Some sports come and go,” Geist said. “We trend out some sports depending on participation levels.

“Tennis is a major part of Georgia and swimming is now a major sports scene, so some of (the events) are what is common among most people within the state. We try and do some different events, shooting and things like that, which are a little bit different but reach a wider range of athletes.”

Offering varied types of competitions is key to the games’ success. Many events are aimed at Georgia youth while some are for adults. With a wheelchair soccer event planned for July 11 in Fair Oaks, planners make sure to include disabled athletes as well.  

“We allow any age and skill level to compete,” Geist said. “Last year our youngest participant was 3 and the oldest was 87.”  
Geist expects a large turnout for the games this summer and her expectation may be spot on.  

Fifty athletes competed in the first event of the games, a fencing competition held June 5 in Fair Oaks.

“(And) that’s one of the smaller events,” Geist said. “Larger events, such as Run for Life, will have 1,500 to 2,000. Overall, we have a large participation.”

Those interested in more information concerning the softball event in Cumming, or in participating in the ASA tournaments, can contact Dennis Stanford by phone at 678-878-9743 or by e-mail at

For more information about the weightlifting event, prospective participants can contact Buddy Duke by phone at 229-896-3989/229-896-3988 or by e-mail at

Registration to become a participant in the games can be done online at
Regional events