Published: Dec 06, 2013 4:10 PM EST
Updated: Dec 06, 2013 5:44 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Let the Senior Games begin! That's the cry for more than 1,800 people who are taking part in the Florida Senior Games and state championships. The competitors will fill local hotel rooms and eat at restaurants.

"This is a big economic benefit to the local community, more than $1 million," said Stephen Rodriguez of the Florida Sports Foundation.

The people range in age from 50 to 99. They are divided into categories by five-year increments, to make the competition fair.

James Kales of Bonita Springs is the older competitor. He is 99.

"I just like to be active and to keep going," Kales said. "I compete against myself if I have to, and that is not always so easy. I keep trying, again and again. It keeps me going."

The games, with men and women, begin in sports like basketball and bocce ball, on Saturday, Dec. 7. The conclude on Sunday the 15th.