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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Supports 2009 Senior Games

More than 2,000 seniors to compete in sports and games throughout the region

Philadelphia, PA - June 1, 2009 - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) will once again sponsor the Senior Games, held at various times and locations in May and June in the five-county Philadelphia region. More than 2,000 seniors are expected to show their commitment to staying physically and mentally fit by participating in the games this year.

The games feature a wide variety of activities including swimming, running, golf, bowling, tennis, track and field, horseshoes, dance, shuffleboard, chess, and Scrabble®, sponsored by the Departments of Recreation and/or Services for the Aging in each county.

Winners from counties throughout Pennsylvania will go on to compete in the state games in York, PA, held July 20- 6. State winners will then be invited to participate in the national Senior Games in 2009, which will take place in San Francisco, California August 1-15, and are expected to draw nearly 13,000 participants.

Shirley Ruger of Ridley Park is excited to compete again in the Delaware County games, which run from June 15-19, after having won three gold medals last year. Charged up and smiling from ear to ear, she was back today at the Eddystone ShopRite to defend her gold medal victory in the second-annual Delaware County Senior Games kickoff event, the Race for a Healthy Lifestyle.

The event pairs one senior with a sponsor, and each team's goal is to shop for as many healthy foods as they can in eight minutes, and spend less than $125. "It's so much fun and teaches you a lot about how to shop as economically and healthfully as possible," said Ruger, who along with her sponsor partner Tommy Landy from Independence Blue Cross, took the silver medal. "These games are very important to me. I enjoy being physically fit and I go to the gym everyday. I'm proud to say that I'm 72 years old, but I feel like I'm 50," said Ruger.

IBC has cosponsored the Philadelphia County Senior Games since they began in the late 1980s. "The Games are a fun and competitive activity to bring together not only seniors, but also their families, friends, and the community to achieve a common goal: staying fit and healthy," said Stephen Fera, vice president of Government Programs at IBC.

For more information or to register for the games, seniors can contact their county Department of Recreation or Department of Aging Services. Registration fees, numbers of participants and other details will vary from county to county.

About the Senior Games

The Senior Games were created in 1985 by the National Senior Games Association to promote a healthy, social, and active lifestyle among older adults. The first national games were held in 1987 in St. Louis, MO, with 2,500 participants. For more information visit the National Senior Games Association.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

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