NEW BRITAIN - For some, summer represents a chance to relax, but for others it is a chance to go against top-notch competition or prepare for the upcoming school season.
That is what the annual Nutmeg State Games represent. And today, the 29th annual Nutmeg Games will be in full swing as a number of team and individual tournaments heat up throughout the weekend following previous events such as the cycling criterium, archery and air rifle.
Founded in 1989, the Games were brought about to promote amateur sports in Olympic-style competition among Connecticut’s residents. Now, 29 years later, the games are still going strong with more participants than ever over the games’ 22 offered sports.
The biggest of the day will be the track and field event at Veterans Stadium at Willowbrook Park. With more than 600 athletes from ages under six to over 75 from all over the Northeast, it is one of the biggest and most competitive events the Nutmeg Games has to offer. Athletes will begin at 8 a.m. with events running until 5 p.m.
Other individual competitions include the gymnastics meet at Pomperaug High School beginning at 8:30 a.m., which is set to feature more than 100 gymnasts; and figure skating, which will have 154 participants making more than 230 starts. Competition will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Newington Arena.
The roller hockey tournament will kick off team play, with the 10U, 12U and 14U divisions all getting underway at the Koeppel Community Sports Center at Trinity College starting at 10 a.m., featuring teams from throughout Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island.
The 10U and 12U brackets will each feature a team from Plainville (Minions), while Torrington will be represented by the Wolfpack in all three divisions and Colchester (CT Snipers) in the 14U bracket.
The tournament will begin with the 10U division dropping the puck at 10 a.m. The bracket’s last game of the day will be between the Minions and Rhode Island at 1:20 p.m. The 12U will start (11:20 a.m.) and end (2 p.m.) with the Minions playing.
All three brackets will then finish out their respective tournaments on Sunday with the younger of the three divisions playing the bronze and gold medal games, while the 14Us will play four games in addition to the two medal ones.
The golf tournament will close out the weekend on Sunday afternoon. The older groups - 16U and 18U - will tee off at Stanley Golf Course in New Britain at 12:30 p.m., while the 10U, 12U and 14U age groups will step up to the tee box at 3 p.m.
That, however, is only the beginning, with a number of other tournaments set to take place over the next week.
The girls golf tournament will run from July 20 to 23, the field hockey 7 vs. 7 tournament will go July 21-23, while both the fast pitch softball and roller hockey (16U, 18U, 19 & over) tournaments will take place July 22-23. Fencing will compete on July 23 and July 30.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach