The Generation Games: Everyone Can Play

Generation GamesDon't miss out, the Generation Games are almost here and everyone can participate.

International sport and recreation event comes to Salem February 3-5 for North American debut

SALEM, Mass.—Mayor Kimberley Driscoll is pleased to announce that through a unique international partnership, the Salem Department of Park, Recreation, and Community Services, the Salem State University (SSU) College of Arts & Sciences, the SSU Sport & Movement Science Department, and Rotterdam University’s Sport Marketing and Management Program are bringing the Generation Games to Salem from February 3-5, 2017.

The Generation Games are an international sporting event for people of all ages. Founded in Rotterdam in 2012, the Generation Games were created by Dutch businessman Robbert Nesselaar to bring multiple generations of people together to participate in sports and recreational activities. Teams of moms, dads, grandparents, children, and friends will come together to have fun, exercise, and grow together. Having previously been held in Rotterdam and Lausanne, Switzerland as part of Olympic Week, this will mark the first time that the Games are held in North America.

“This is an exciting new event being hosted in Salem and I am especially proud that our City will be the North American debut for the games,” said Mayor Driscoll. “I encourage all Salem residents to get active and participate. This is a unique opportunity to promote health and fitness and strengthen community spirit. As a certified Age-Friendly City currently implementing our Salem For All Ages action plan, I am especially pleased that these games will help further promote intergenerational communication in our community, as well.”

Mr. Nesselaar echoed these sentiments, “The Generation Games is about people of all ages having fun and learning from each other, while playing sports together. It is about those with experience and those with new fresh ideas connecting. Through sport and play, children, parents and grandparents can pass on positive legacies. The city of Salem is a great location for an edition of the Generation Games: having such an active community (with Salem State University and many organizations involved), and inviting the people of Salem to take part. The edition in Salem offers a great mix of activities, I am very happy with the enthusiasm and energy in the city!”

Dr. KC Bloom, an Associate Professor in the Sport and Movement Science Department, is one of the organizers of this event. She commented, “We are looking for people of all ages to participate in this inter-generational, fun family event! In order for these games to be successful, we need you! This is not a spectator sport. You do not need to be an elite athlete to participate. You just need to want to have fun.”

Another of the event organizers and Associate Professor, Sport & Movement Science Department at Salem State University, Dr. Stuart McMahon stated, “The Generations Games presents a unique opportunity for Salem State and Rotterdam University students to transfer their studies to help organize and partake in an actual sporting event.”

Part of the initiative for bringing the Generation Games to Salem comes from the Salem State University-Rotterdam University international exchange program. The exchange, which is currently in its fourth year, typically consists of twenty to thirty Rotterdam University students and faculty members visiting Salem State and participating in programs sponsored by the Recreation and Sport Management Concentrations in the Sport & Movement Science Department for a week each year.

Ida Nipuis, a faculty member and program director for the Sport Marketing & Management Program at Rotterdam University, stated, “The Generation Games is an exciting project for our exchange program. The concept of creating an event that is based around intergenerational participation is one that has been well received around the world.  It has been truly great working with KC, Stuart, and the City of Salem to bring this to the US for the first time. We hope that this results in a great community building event for all involved. We are definitely excited to be involved with it.”

Mr. Nesselaar added that, “In the Generation Games, the collaboration end is more important than winning. Every edition is ‘by and for the community’. It’s about connecting and inspiring each other, also across borders: in collaboration with students from different countries. And it’s about an active lifestyle, for present and next generations.”

As part of the Generation Games weekend, an Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday, February 3, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Old Town Hall. The Opening Ceremony will feature presentations by Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, athletes, and representatives of Salem State University and Rotterdam University. Additionally, Craig Cardiff, a Canadian folk singer and two time Juno-award nominee, will perform a concert with an after-party to follow. Notch Brewing, a Generation Games sponsor, will host the after party.

Saturday and Sunday will feature a number of events spread throughout each day. Among the highlights are:


    1. Snowshoe run/walk
    2. 3-on-3 basketball tournament
    3. Salem Scavenger Hunt
    4. Water polo/water volleyball
    5. 4-on-4 soccer tournament
    6. Corn Hole & Can Jam
    7. Human Foosball & Life Sized Games
    8. Black-light Dodge ball


    1. Flag Football Tournament
    2. Olde Dutch Games
    3. Outdoor Snow Contests and Games (weather permitting)

All events are free to participants and the public and will be held at the following locations around Salem: Twohig Gymnasium and the Gassett Fitness Center Gymnasium at Salem State University, the Salem Senior Center, the Salem Common, and the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA. All teams will include a minimum of two generations.

Although anyone can simply show up at an event and participate, those who plan to participate are encouraged pre-register at, so that the game organizers can adequately plan for the number of participants at each event.  All participants will be required to sign liability waivers at each venue. For more information, please visit or check Twitter: @SalemGenGames. To check out the FB Event page, click here!

Dr. Bloom provided, “The reception that we’ve received from the City of Salem has been so positive. We have been fortunate to have businesses such as Notch Brewing, the Cheese Shop of Salem, Village Tavern, and others sponsoring some of our sessions. We hope that we will have a large turnout at The Generation Games as it is really going to be a special event and everyone can play!”

Any individual or business that is interested in being an event sponsor or have any event questions may also contact the organizers listed below:

Patricia O’Brien, Director, Salem Parks, Recreation & Community Services: 978-744-0180

Dr. KC Bloom, Associate Professor, SMS Department, SSU: 978-542-6559

Dr. Stuart McMahon, Associate Professor, SMS Department, SSU: 978-542-7163

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