It has the hallmarks of becoming an epic rivalry ...Patriots—Jets, Lakers—Celtics ... Red Sox and Yankees.
And it may not be spring training, but when a group of seniors representing Warrenbrook Senior Center head to Basking Ridge on Feb. 25 for the "Minute to Win It" challenge, both sides at least will have had a little advance practice.
The Somerset County Senior Wellness Center in Basking Ridge is taking on the Warrenbrook Senior Center at with a variety of challenges based on the NBC show “Minute to Win It.”
The showdown is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Participants from each center will compete in eight different challengers that must be completed in one minute or less, according to a new release from the Somerset County Office on Aging.
Participants at both centers reportedly have been gearing up.
"(It's) not mastered, I'm just good at it," Divya Bhatt, who attends the Warrenbrook Senior Center, said Wednesday as she practiced on a challenge organizing sealed five containers containing different numbers of small bells. The containers held three to 15 bells, and Bhatt needed to carefully listen as she shook the containers to tell which held the fewest and which the most, something she hadnt tried too many times before.
"The fewest is easy; the most is easy," she added. "It's the others that are not easy."
The real pressure comes from the time factor: in competition, contestants only have one minute to complete each task. "One minute is very quickly passed," Bhatt said.
The teams of seniors representing the two centers will face eight one-minute challenges, testing their skills at bean bag tossing, sorting M&M candies by color, balloon-juggling or assembling a 16-piece puzzle made from the front of a cereal box. And while those challenges are obvious tests of dexterity and coordination, some of the challenges are maybe a bit less so.
Over at 202 Mount Airy Road in Basking Ridge, the seniors who will compete from the Basking Ridge, Bernardsville and Bedminster area also have been practicing, said Kristen Greico, that center's manager. The latest practice session was this past Friday, she said.
Greico said the bean bag toss — managing to throw a bean bag throw a small hole about 10 feet away — has proved the most challenging. She said she expects at least about 25 participants to represent the Bernards team.
"Some are more competitive," Greico said. Others have needed a little more encouragement, she said.
Last Wednesday, Ghanshyam Patel was at the Warrenbrook center trying to move cotton balls from one table to another about 10 feet away. The trick was to get the balls to stick to his nose using a dab of petroleum jelly, walk to the other table, and shake them loose.
Patel tested his skills Wednesday, moving five cotton balls successfully—much to the enjoyment of onlookers.
Win, lose or draw, the competition is more about sharpening cognitive skills and dexterity, as well as having a bit of fun, according to Warrenbrook Senior Center Director Gwen Chalker.
"We try to offer activities that are fun, and help keep them busy," Chalker said.
Which is why Bhatt said she always takes part in such activities. For Ramesh Puri, who divides her time in Warren, with her son and his family, and India, the transporation services and center activities assure many of the seniors at the center regular activity.
"This center has so many activities," Puri said. "She (Chalker) keeps us very happy with the mental challenges and so much to do."
Participants are asked to register by Feb. 22 by calling either the Senior Wellness Center at 908-204-3435 or the Warrenbrook Senior Center at 908-753-9440.
Volunteer cheerleaders also are sought to lead a pep rally and to support each senior center during the ‘Minute to Win It’ challenge.