A group of community leaders from the Red Door Senior Citizens Center, the Non Profit Center, Sheppard Air Force Base and the YMCA came together in 1993 to present an event geared toward active adults still interested in competing. They formed the first North Texas Senior Games to be held in May of 1994 boasting events from basketball and swimming to a fishing rodeo, and horseshoes. There were 12 sports offered that first year and the partnerships with Village Bowl, Weeks Golf Course, Wichita Falls Independent School District, Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred and the YMCA were formed.
The first event was three days and with the help of many volunteers, sponsors and other interested groups it was a success. The event was moved to September and known throughout the state as the first qualifying event for the next years state games. The North Texas Senior Games became a staple of the fall in Wichita Falls until 2007. After those games it was decided by the host facility that it would not be offered in 2008.
Having been introduced to the games in 1996 Sandy Shawver decided that for her Ph. D. topic of research and her dissertation would be on the senior games. She worked with the National Senior Games to gather data and complete her research. After earning her degree while working at MSU she knew it was time to bring the games back to Wichita Falls. In the fall of 2016 a committee was formed of MSU faculty, staff and administrators and planning for the re-launch of the North Texas Senior Games commenced.
To re-introduce the games to the Wichita Falls community we developed a one-day event with six to seven events (Basketball, Bowling, Horse Shoes, Pickleball, Table Tennis, & Tennis). The event was called the Senior Sports Festival and was held on the campus of MSU and Village Bowling Lanes the weekend after graduation (May 17, 2017). Although the event was small it did fan the flames of desire to get a full slate of events for the games to Wichita Falls in 2018. We are excited about the possibilities that will come from hosting the games again and look forward to working with the Texas Senior Games Association and the National Senior Games Association once again.