Tri-Village News

Chair volleyball keeps local senior citizens moving


Participants from three area senior centers did something to get their hearts pumping on Valentine's Day -- and it had nothing to do with romance.

They participated in the first Valentine's Day chair volleyball tournament at the Griswold Center in Worthington.

Along with Griswold Center members, senior citizens from the Grandview Center and the Prairie Township Senior Center also participated in the event.

"The tournament isn't a competitive event," said Colleen Light, the Griswold Center's manager and chair volleyball coach.

"It's just a chance for everybody to get together, socialize and have a good time."

Chair volleyball is played much like the regular game, except that players must sit in a chair while they play.

"We have a 'one cheek on the seat' rule," said Marlin Cheyney, who leads the chair volleyball program in Grandview.

"In some ways, it's even more challenging than regular volleyball because you're limited in your movement," she said. "You have to turn and twist in your seat to hit the ball."

In a chair volleyball game, six people play on each side, sitting in two rows of three.

A beach ball is used instead of the regulation volleyball, Cheyney said.

"Chair volleyball is a much greater workout than people would expect," she said. "You get a nice upper-body workout and all the movement really helps the cardiovascular and respiratory systems."

Participants also see an improvement in their hand-eye coordination, Light said.

"It's just allows people to enjoy some competitive spirit and fun," she said.

People seem to enjoy the chance to visit with each other as much as the game itself, Cheyney said.

Chair volleyball is becoming an increasingly popular program at senior centers around central Ohio, Light said.

At the Griswold Center, the chair volleyball group plays from 1 to 3 p.m. every Thursday.

The Grandview Center program meets for one-hour sessions at 10 a.m. Tuesday and Thursdays.

Both programs are free and open to the public.

"You can just show up, and if you come a bit late and the games are full, at some point someone will tire and want to drop out for a while and you can just jump in and take their place," Cheyney said.