The Long Run - November 2018
NSGA HQ relocated to Clearwater, Florida in May 2018.
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5630, Clearwater FL 33758-5630
Main Phone: (727) 475-1187
Personal Best Athlete Honored at Massachusetts Council on Aging Conference
Last month, NSGA's Personal Best initiative made a splash at the Massachusetts Council on Aging (MCOA) annual conference held in Falmouth. In addition to making a presentation documenting the health benefits senior athletes enjoy, we brought our claims to life by presenting Amy Hicks of Needham as the first Personal Best feature athlete from the Bay State. Read her new Personal Best feature here.
NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker said Hicks, now 85, was selected "for her perseverance to continue with senior sports for three decades despite managing spinal stenosis and other physical challenges, and for helping and inspiring others to remain active." Hicks also received a congratulatory citation signed by Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Amy Polito at the event.
Riker was joined by Davis Cox and Greg Tooker of Massachusetts Senior Games, who outlined opportunities in the state for senior centers to help raise awareness. Read more details in the full media release.
Registration Begins - What You Need to Know
Time to take the leap! Registration for the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana is officially open. Here is the process so athletes will know what to expect:
Athlete Qualification Notices - Qualified Athletes will be able to register when the state(s) in which they qualified are listed on the Registration Page at NSGA.com. States are listed when results for all sports are submitted to NSGA and verified. After the results are uploaded, NSGA will send an e-blast to qualified athletes. In addition one postcard will be mailed to each qualified athlete's address on file with NSGA. Information about online registration will be shared in the qualification notices. Checking the website is the fastest way for athletes to know that they can register as email messages and mail can be lost or misdirected. Once a state is listed on the website athletes can register and do not have to wait to receive a qualification notice. The early registration discount will end February 28th, with the final registration deadline on April 2nd.
How to Find Your Schedule - Looking for venue assignments by age group, order of events or other sport & age specific info? Access your respective Sports page at NSGA.com for downloadable files with event details. You can find venues, available competition dates and times by referring to 2019 Competition Schedules Page, but the Sport pages provide more details as information becomes available. Please note that all sport brackets, draws, pools, etc. will be posted on each sport page about two weeks before the Games open. Schedules may be subject to change.
Housing: Dorm Accommodations Now Available
In addition to numerous hotel options, limited dormitory housing is now available on the campus of the University of New Mexico! Single and double rooms with a shared bathroom along with 4 bedroom 1 bathroom apartments are now available for booking. Go to our Travel & Lodging Page and click on University of New Mexico Dorm Options to learn more about the dormitory accommodations. For more information contact our housing partner, National Travel Systems (NTS) at 888-794-9267 or by email, [email protected].
Last Qualifying Event
Only one qualifying event for 2019 still remains, but you will have to hurry to get in. The Florida Senior Games will take place Dec. 1-9 in Pinellas County, with a Nov. 18 deadline. Please click on the Florida link for more details.
2019 Venue Spotlight: Swimming
The West Mesa Aquatic Center provides the best swimming venue in Albuquerque. The facility is located less than 15 minutes west of the Albuquerque Convention Center, the hub of activity for the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana.
The award-winning West Mesa Aquatic Center is the City of Albuquerque's premium facility and features two dozen 25-yard competition lanes, ample deck space and stadium seating to accommodate 800 spectators. C'mon, senior swimmers, get registered and let's make a splash in New Mexico next June!
Find New Memories in Historic Old Town
Historic Old Town has been the heart of Albuquerque since the city was founded in 1706 by a group of Spanish families who settled not far from the Rio Grande. The settlers organized their new town in the traditional Spanish colonial way, with a central plaza anchored by a church. San Felipe de Neri remains a functioning Catholic church.
Old Town is also a significant fine art center with more than 150 boutiques, galleries and shops for collectors to find paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics and crafts. Whether you're looking for souvenirs, trendy clothing, authentic Southwestern jewelry or traditional or contemporary art, you are sure to find it here.
The area is also home to Albuquerque's newest luxury property, Hotel Chaco, as well as the up-and-coming Sawmill District, which is being redeveloped into a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood, with unique retail, artist studios and Sawmill Market, a 25,000 square-foot food court featuring local cuisine, a growers' market, unique entertainment venues, art galleries, retail businesses, bars and more.
November Athlete of the Month
Too Good Not to Share
Betsy Hall is like many people who participate in Senior Games - she loves it so much, she is motivated to tell others to get involved and keep after them until they do.
The Ohio native was a late bloomer who did not participate in sports as a youth, but caught the running bug at age 45 after her overweight husband was told to walk and run for exercise and she went along to provide company. "He did it for about two weeks, and I just kept on going," she says. She worked her way up to log three marathons while also enjoying annual track and road race competitions in local and multiple state Senior Games for 21 years before her knees gave out.
"I started in these Games back in 1993," she recalls."My husband and I often traveled in our motor home to the Ohio Senior Olympics and other states. I have qualified not only in Ohio but also Kentucky, Indiana, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Arizona. Meeting athletes from other states was awesome." Betsy made it to four Nationals, but her last track appearance was 1999 in Orlando. "The year after that things went downhill physically," she says. "I have arthritis and needed a knee and an ankle replaced. My surgeon put the brakes on my track and road races."
A few years ago, Betsy moved to the Bristol Village retirement community in Waverly, Ohio, which offers recreational facilities but does not have an activity director by choice of residents, which means they organize their own play. Betsy, now 85, had transitioned to table tennis to keep herself going and felt the urge to compete again and recruit others. "In 2016, I thought it would be neat to go back to the National Senior Games again and get others to go, too. So I started talking it up among the people here to enter the local Southern Ohio Senior Olympics."
Quite a few did. Betsy's efforts resulted in 17 Bristol Village residents going on to the Ohio Senior Olympics in various sports, and 16 of them qualified for the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana. "Three of us went on to Birmingham. It would have been four, but one lady had a bicycling accident two weeks before that. She's over that now and plans to go to Albuquerque. I have a grand daughter and two great grandkids there, so you know I am going again too."
This year, Betsy reports there weren't quite as many residents qualifying for 2019. "But one of them, who just turned 100, decided to retire while she was at the height of her glory," she says with a laugh. "She still walks two miles to McDonald's every day. After she qualified two years ago, the store awarded her free ice cream for life!"
Betsy is happy to be back in the Senior Games rhythm, even if her medal prospects aren't as good as when she was running. "I'm not very competitive in table tennis. I did win a bronze medal the first time I competed, but it seems I am up against a lot more nationally-ranked women now. But it's fun to go and participate."
The ultimate reward, she says, is better health. "This is the way we stay young."
We want to hear more great stories! To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you, Please Click Here.
Remember NSGA on #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events. This year, Tuesday, November 27 is the global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.
As you make your charitable decisions to close out 2018, please consider the National Senior Games Association and visit NSGA.com/donate to make your tax deductible donation. You'll be helping NSGA spread the healthy message of "fitness, fun and fellowship."
We are humbled by the many athletes and supporters who feel moved to donate to NSGA every year. We will always strive to earn your respect and support. Once again, THANK YOU!
Senior Health and Wellness
Flexibility is Key to Performance
Staying flexible with aging is a challenge we will all face. From six years of growing data collected in the SAFE screening program headed by Dr. Becca Jordre, we have found senior athletes to be more flexible than the general population of aging adults. However, with increased age, even the best senior athlete shows a decline in flexibility.
Why does this happen? The elastic tissue in our muscles and joints decreases and what remains links together more readily, making our muscles and joints more stiff. This can lead to an increased risk of injury and more delayed recovery when we do experience an injury. A warm-up with some dynamic stretching has been promoted as a useful means of increasing tissue flexibility and decreasing the likelihood of injury for aging athletes. It is also thought that a dynamic warm up before competition may improve sport performance.
What does a dynamic warm up look like? Think about your sport or planned exercise and what motions you will go through during that activity. For runners, this might be large lunges and leg swings, swimmers may make big overhead movements both in front and to your side. Racquet sport players can move their arms through exaggerated swings without a racquet or impact. The idea is to get blood flowing to the tissues you are going to use but not at full intensity until you start to break a sweat.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), a partner of NSGA, has a dynamic warm up routine based on yoga poses that can be found through a dedicated portal on the NSGA website that allows all senior athletes free access to resources, such as articles and videos, on a wide array of subjects. If you have not already have a free account, you can create one easily and see the video by clicking here. If you're going to hold more traditional stretches, you should wait until you've warmed up enough to break a sweat or, even better, wait until the end of your workout as your tissue will be much more responsive. Then, work to hold stretches for at least 20 seconds. 60 seconds with four repetitions is ideal.
According to the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM), older athletes should stretch for approximately 10 minutes twice a week to maintain and improve their mobility. If you want to start with a great posture stretch, NSGA has produced a video you can find here. Remember, it is never beneficial to stretch into pain and if you have low bone density (osteoporosis or osteopenia) avoid bending forward or rounding your back when stretching.
Article by Dr. Becca Jordre
SmartyPants Contest Winning Entries Announced
The 2018 "Aging With a New Attitude" contest is complete, and we have five winners! SmartyPants Vitamins and NSGA asked National Senior Games athletes to tell us in 100 words or less how they are "aging with a new attitude."
Answers were varied, but the theme of staying active was found in every response. "Living a healthy life is not a spectator sport...You must get in the game and stay at it," advises Jane Kaiser of St. Louis. North Carolinian Cynthia Ferebee summarized, "I was not about to sit at home and do nothing when I retired...People see me active at age 70, and their attitudes change about aging." In another entry, Sally Pace proclaims, "My attitude about aging is not new, it is the same attitude that I always have had: It is that I am not aging...I am living happily ever after and expect to continue in this way."
Read all five entries in their entirety at the link below. The five winners selected will receive a SmartyPants Prize Package including a 3-month supply of vitamin products plus other goodies. Thanks to all who made time to share their thoughts!