The Long Run - June 2018
NSGA has relocated its headquarters office to Clearwater, Florida! The move is the result of years of discussion and research. Last year, a process narrowed down our best options, and the City of Clearwater near Tampa Bay has welcomed us with open arms. For more details, read our recent news release.
Please make note of our new contact information:
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5630, Clearwater FL 33758-5630
Main Phone: (727)475-1187
2019 Competition Schedule Now Available
We are pleased to announce that the general competition schedule for the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana is now posted at NSGA.com. Staff is working steadily to make final confirmations to release the detailed age-specific schedule in the near future.
"There are many interrelated pieces to consider in order to complete the schedule for this complex multi-sport event," according to Director of Events and Programs Sue Hlavacek. "We know our athletes want all information as early as possible, but we also want all details to be confirmed to prevent the need for changing the published schedule."
2019 Venue Spotlight: Golf When the National Senior Games descends on a host city, it takes more than one golf course to accommodate the competition. Albuquerque welcomes us with three excellent courses, selected for suitability for competition and quality of facilities:
- Santa Ana Golf Club - Featured by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and the New York Times. Santa Ana hosted the 2009 PGA Professional National Championship, with a course that follows in the tradition of golf's finest links-style courses. 22,000-square-foot Club House, eight lakes, full-service Pro Shop, practice facilities, hospitality quarters, four-star restaurant, and casual bar and grille.
- The Sandia Golf Club - The Par 72 course was developed by the Pueblo of Sandia as an amenity of the Sandia Resort & Casino. The course delights golfers of all skill levels with a memorable layout routed through the rugged high desert landscape featuring 48 strategically placed bunkers, challenging green complexes and panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains and greater Albuquerque area.
- The Championship Golf Course at The University of New Mexico - Nationally recognized by Golf Digest Magazine as one of the top 25 public courses in the country. Several NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Golf Championships were held on this course which boasts fairways that stretch out long and wide, bobbing up and down, both right and left - all factors that make it difficult to reach the rolling, well-manicured greens.
Upcoming Qualifying Games The year is flying by, and many qualifying Games are right around the corner! Register now for Games starting in July in ND, PA and WA, and August sees eight kick off in AK, ID, KY, MI, MN, NE, WY and the National Veterans Golden Age Games, being held this year in Albuquerque. Multiple states have continuing action in various sports over this time. The State Information page at NSGA.com has dates, sports, website links and contacts.
Elevate Your Spirit in the Ballooning Capital of the World
More than a century ago in Albuquerque, Professor P.A. Van Tassell, a local bartender, piloted a "gas bag" from the center of town up to nearly 14,000 feet and landed, intact, a few miles away at the west end of the city. Even so, ballooning remained an obscure sport for many years. It wasn't until 1972 that 13 hot air balloons participated in the very first Balloon Fiesta, held at a local mall. From that humble ascension, Albuquerque has become the prime destination for balloonists worldwide. In fact, local citizens make up a few of the most important balloonists in history. The first to cross the Atlantic by helium balloon included Albuquerqueans Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman. Not long after, Abruzzo and Anderson, along with another Albuquerque native Ron Clark, became the first to do the same across the Pacific. Yet another Albuquerque hero, Troy Bradley, has set over 50 world records for ballooning, and has even attained the highest ranking a balloonist can achieve, the Montgolfier Diploma. Known as the "Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World," Albuquerque offers superb year-round ballooning conditions, due in part to its more than 310 days of sunshine, mild climate and unique weather phenomenon known as the "Albuquerque Box" (predictable wind patterns that help to navigate balloons more easily). It's the perfect place to embark on a truly memorable balloon ride or attend hot air balloon events. The city is home to several hot air balloon ride companies to take you on the experience of a lifetime.
June Athlete of the Month
High on the Poles...and the Polls
When Brad Winter was a kid, he and his friends liked to use a broomstick to jump up on walls. "My father got us some bamboo poles, and we would spend hours and hours on weekends with a pole vault run we fixed up with boards and dirt in the back yard," he recalls. "That's how it got started."
A decade later, he set a national junior college record and qualified for the Olympic trials at New Mexico Junior College. That led to an offer from the University of Oklahoma, where Brad leapt to a Big 8 pole vault championship and All-American honors in 1971.
Throughout his adulthood, Brad has never strayed far from a vaulting pit, competing in masters track and field events. "I set my personal record of 17 feet one inch at the age of 37, so I didn't reach my peak until later," he notes.
Now 66, the Albuquerque native enjoyed competing at New Mexico Senior Olympics and made his first National Senior Games appearance in 2017, earning a silver medal with his leap of 10' 2.05" in the men's 65-69 age group.
"I have pole vaulting friends that I've kept in touch with for years and years and saw a couple of them at the Senior Games," he says. "It's really fun to reconnect with folks when I compete."
Brad has special reasons to be jumping for joy that the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana is coming to his home town. He has been elected to the Albuquerque City Council for 7 consecutive terms, serving three of those terms as council president. The career educator has also been a collegiate coach and a teacher, principal and Superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools. Brad was also appointed to serve out a term as Secretary of State of New Mexico in 2015 following the resignation of the incumbent.
The popular community leader bursts with pride about playing host. "This is huge for Albuquerque, and especially for the seniors here," he says. "I think we're lucky to have it, and people are going to really enjoy coming next year. Albuquerque is just beautiful, with the weather, the mountains, the culture and all."
Despite his successes, it hasn't all been easy for Brad to continue to enjoy his sport. "I've had seven surgeries over time on my knee. I didn't have much cartilage, so I kept getting it worked on until I just couldn't jump anymore," he recounts. "Three years ago, I got a partial knee replacement, and it works great. It's probably the strongest part of me now."
While he keeps up with regular drills and practices vaults once a week, Brad has adapted his weight lifting and gym workouts to keep his legs and knees in form. "I still lift, I just go lighter now and don't squat as much," he says. "I would work out anyway, but pole vaulting helps to motivate me to stay in shape, just with the thought that I need to be ready to vault and stay a part of this."
Brad has also realized his dream to build his own pit. "I salvaged an old pit from a local school, and a friend of mine has an acre of land in a beautiful area where we set it up. We call it 'The Garden of Eden Pole Vault Facility' and I get some of the old guys to come out on Sundays to jump. It's exciting."
After a pause, he adds, "I'm just in heaven when I get to pole vault."
We want to hear more great stories! To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you, Please Click Here.
Senior Health and Wellness
Athlete Reminder to Take 'My Life Check®' Survey
Last week, all Senior Games athletes who qualified for the National Senior Games in the past were sent a special NSGA email invitation with a code to complete a brief, confidential My Life Check® health assessment. My Life Check® desires to build a comprehensive Senior Games Health Enhancement program designed especially for improving the well being of Senior Games athletes.
Survey results are private, and only you can directly obtain your personal information. Group data will form the basis for athlete wellness program planning. We appreciate the support and participation of all Senior Game athletes to help us understand how to serve your health and wellness needs!
National Council on Aging: Helping You Master Aging
Like NSGA, our partner the National Council of Aging (NCOA) is committed to supporting active living for seniors. NCOA offers programs and tools that can help you stay healthy and economically secure.
To support healthy living, NCOA provides you with the knowledge to prevent falls, manage chronic conditions, and master the art and science of aging well. This September, NSGA will continue to advocate for reducing the impact of falls on seniors by supporting NCOA's National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, set for September 22.
To support economic security, NCOA's BenefitsCheckUp® is a free and confidential tool to help older adults find benefits programs to pay for daily expenses like food, prescriptions, and utilities. Their EconomicCheckUp® site offers tips to budget on a fixed income, reduce debt, and avoid scams, which have become so prevalent that they're now considered "the crime of the 21st century." With June 15 being World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, NCOA addresses senior scams by offering information on how to combat fraud and abuse.
As the population ages, many seniors like yourself are working longer than ever, making an important contribution to the economy. NCOA helps 55+ adults return to or remain active in the workforce by providing job training, job search services, and on-the-job experience through the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
If you want to make your voice heard in Congress, NCOA Public Policy keeps you updated, offering opportunities to get involved on issues affecting older adults and aging programs.
You will find these and a wealth of additional resources on the NCOA website.