Registration for this summer's 2010 Empire State Games is now under way online at www.empirestategames.org.
Organizers report that while the statewide amateur athletic competition won't be staged in the Buffalo/Niagara Region until July 21-25, many of the scholastic and open events will hold tryouts in May and June. Sign-ups for men's weight lifting and bowling closed the first week of May.
"Tryout season for the games gets into full swing in the six weeks, so it's critical for athletes interested in scholastic and open divisions to be aware of the sign-up deadlines and the tryout dates. We want New Yorkers who want to compete to complete their registrations in time to be part of this tremendous event," said Ralph Galanti, chairman, of the local organizing committee for the Buffalo 2010 Games.
Most masters division competitors do not need to go through a tryout process, and have until July 5 to register. However, athletes planning to compete in rugby and volleyball will be selected via tryouts. A handful of masters events also require membership in the national associations governing the sports. Those sports include cycling, boxing and judo.
The registration fee for scholastic and open events is $10 and can be paid online with a credit or debit card. There is a $40 fee for open bowling. The entry fee for masters events is $40.
During the registration process, open division athletes are given the option of paying a $25 housing fee. All participants can pre-order ESG sweat suits and T-shirts at the time of registration. Athletes who are not able to register via the Internet should call ESG offices at 518-474-8889.
Full details on all events, eligibility requirements, and tryout dates and venues can be found on the games Web site, www.empirestategames.org.
On March 24, Buffalo-based First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. announced it was donating $500,000 to underwrite the 2010 Empire State Games and promote the long-term viability of the state's annual winter and senior games, as well as the games for the physically challenged.
First Niagara's donation represents half of the funds necessary for this year's $1 million fundraising goal established by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in September 2009.It's estimated the 2010 summer games will generate close to $15 million for the Western New York community, drawing some 6,000 athletes, plus their families and friends.