Every year, sports enthusiasts across the state have the opportunity to showcase their athleticism in the Louisiana Governor’s Games. The 2020 Governor’s Games get underway this weekend with the New Orleans Blastoff, a girls’ volleyball competition Saturday, January 18 and Sunday, January 19.
The Blastoff features 4,000 participants from 266 teams competing in two venues: the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Halls C and D, 900 Convention Center Blvd. and The Health Club by Hilton at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, 2 Poydras St. Admission is $10 for adults and $1 for ages 12 and younger. Saturday action begins at 8 a.m. for 12s, 16s, 17s and 18s, and at 2:30 p.m. for 10s, 13s, 14s and 15s.
If you can’t make it to the Blastoff, you’ll have another 35 chances to see Louisianans of all ages, skill levels and economic demographics participate in fitness competitions during the Governor’s Games. Over the next six months, competitions including basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, boxing, tennis, golf, track and field, girls’ softball, youth baseball and more will be held in cities all around Louisiana.
The Louisiana Governor’s Games began in 1997, replacing the previous Louisiana State Games and expanding to offer more sports. They are coordinated by Durand “Rudy” Macklin, director of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, former NBA player and one of four LSU men’s basketball players to have his jersey retired by the school.
In true Louisiana fashion, the Governor’s Games are one of a kind. Other states hold their state games in one location at one time every year. But, in Louisiana, the Governor’s Games are spread out all around the state over half the year.
Why has Louisiana chosen such a unique approach? When the games are held in a single location, as other states do, the economic impact stays in that single location. However, by scheduling different events around the state, like Louisiana does, the economic impact spreads to areas that can then benefit from the money athletes, coaches and fans will spend at local businesses like hotels, restaurants and service stations.
It’s also a way for people living in underserved areas to receive exposure to sports they may not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in, to develop an interest in a new sport or even just get inspired to get moving. That spark of inspiration may inspire a sedentary person to take up daily walking, or a spectator at a bodybuilding competition to start building muscle.
Fitness is a key step in lowering the obesity rates in our state. Louisiana consistently ranks among the top 10 states with the highest obesity rates for both adults and children, and nearly one of out of four adult Louisianans is considered obese. Physical activity doesn’t just affect obesity, though: it can cut down on the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, as well as other health benefits.
Dates and locations for other competitions will be posted online at the Louisiana Governor’s Games website. Competitions scheduled so far include:
- Boys State Championships: March 13-15 at Acadia Gymnastics, Lafayette
- Girls State Championships: Lower Level, March 20-22 at Louisiana Tech Intramural Center, Ruston and Upper Level, March 27-29 at Alario Center, Westwego
- Elementary State Championship Fitness Meet: April 25 at Alexandria Senior High School, Alexandria
- Youth Golf: June 6-7 at Le Triomphe Community Center, Broussard
If you’re interested in competing in the Louisiana State Games, registration is open now. Sign-up for adults is available through local recreation departments and sports leagues, or advertisements and public service announcements made through media partners. For children, sign-up is available through local schools and physical education teachers.
If you’re not interested in competing, consider attending and cheering on our amateur athletes as they share in the spirit of competition. See you at the Governor’s Games!