The Long Run - September 2018
NSGA HQ has relocated to Clearwater, Florida. Please make note of our new contact information.
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5630, Clearwater FL 33758-5630
Main Phone: (727) 475-1187
Cutting the Ribbon
The boxes are unpacked, desks and phones are in, and the walls are decorated with National Senior Games history. Time to celebrate our new headquarters!
Three months after move-in, NSGA hosted an official ribbon cutting ceremony for our new offices, scheduled to coincide with the presence of our Board of Directors who were in town for annual midyear meetings. Dr. Bob Cundiff, Clearwater City Councilman, and Kevin Dunbar, Clearwater Recreation Director, welcomed us to Florida before CEO Marc T. Riker and NSGA Board Chair Kate Amack shared the big scissors to cut the ribbon as a crowd of over 50 applauded the move.
Reminder: Schedule and Housing Links Are Online!
Official qualifying notices for the 2019 National Senior Games are forthcoming. Athletes will begin to receive qualification notices towards the end of October with registration opening on November 1. But you don't have to wait, set your schedule and book your rooms now!
Please use this 2019 Competition Schedules Page link to open the downloadable Age Specific Schedule that will tell you when your sport and age division will be playing. All sport brackets, draws, pools, and more detailed competition info will be posted on each sport web page about two weeks before the Games open. Schedules may be subject to change.
Follow this link to the Travel and Lodging Page where you can search by sport to find hotels with low block room rates negotiated by our housing partner, NTS. This online booking system is the same used in 2017 that brought many athlete compliments.
Last Chances to Qualify for The Games in 2019
The 2018 qualifying year is rapidly winding down and there's no time to wait if you want to compete in Albuquerque next June. If you have already qualified, you will be notified prior to registration opening in November.
October has multisport games in AR and UT, with some other states wrapping up various individual sports (CN, DE, IL, LA, MD, ME, MI, NH, NV, NM, NC, OK, VT and WI - registration may be closed for some events.) The only other games kicking off in November and December are in HI, MX and FL.
The State Information page at NSGA.com is where you will find a downloadable calendar, contact list, and links to find all of our Member Games. Each state handles its own registration and games management, so check the respective web links for complete details on each.
2019 Venue Spotlight: Tennis
The Jerry Cline Tennis Center is one of Albuquerque's premier public tennis facilities and is centrally located in Albuquerque's Uptown, less than ten minutes from the Albuquerque Convention Center which will serve as the hub of activity for the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana.
The well-maintained facility consists of 18 hard courts, one of which is a championship court with stadium seating. Lighting is available on 13 of the 18 courts. The building boasts large meeting spaces, bathrooms with locker rooms, and WiFi access throughout the facility. The large patio leading to the tennis courts offers additional space for gatherings and events.
"Hoodoos" and "Apache Tears"
The spectacular Kasha-Katuwe ("white cliffs" in the traditional Keresan language spoken by the people of nearby Cochiti Pueblo) Tent Rocks National Monument is located at the southeastern base of the Jemez Mountains about one hour from the heart of Albuquerque. The creation of the beautiful and bizarre rock formations that make up the current landscape were brought to life in part by the Bearhead Volcano nearly 7 million years ago. The balanced cap rocks of Tent Rocks were created by erosion, leaving the harder basalt balanced atop the eroded sticks of softer stone, known as hoodoos. Bits of volcanic glass can be found on the ground, and are known as "Apache tears."
Being so close, the monument serves as a fantastic choice for a day trip from ABQ. You can drive to an overlook of the rocks, or for a more interesting and interactive journey, park at the lower lot and wiggle your way through the narrow slot canyons on a hike up through the balanced rocks themselves.
September Athlete of the Month
Seventh Decade Stretch
Softball has the second-highest athlete participation in the National Senior Games. Since Bonnie Strang first entered Delaware Senior Olympics in 2007, she has become known as a talented and fierce competitor among Senior Games softball players.
While Bonnie also enjoys playing badminton and pickleball, she got hooked on "America's Pastime" as a kid and developed a burning desire to play. "When I was growing up there was no baseball for girls at school," she recalls. "Girls weren't allowed to play with the boys in little league, so I would play sandlot ball with them and watch their games through the fence.
"In 7th grade, there was a call for fast pitch softball players in the next town over," she continues. "I found out they were all over 18, but they let me play with them and even came to give me rides to practice. My coach, Nancy Grafton, taught me everything about the game. I later played on my Westchester college varsity team and it was like a step down."
Bonnie kept playing recreational and tournament softball while keeping up with a 41-year career as a high school band director. Primarily a catcher, and more recently taking second base and now shortstop duties, she has been recognized as All American three times, All World four times and All Tournament several times by softball organizations and tournaments. She has played with four different teams in her past decade with National Senior Games, winning gold three times. She also serves on the board of directors of Delaware Senior Olympics and is their Sport Chair for softball and badminton.
She likes how National Senior Games fits into her softball activity. "The cities where you go are not on the usual circuit of tournaments we do every year," she says. "The fields are top notch, and I get to see a lot of teams that I don't see at other events. I can tell you, everybody who qualified in Delaware is looking forward to going to New Mexico."
With a desire to keep improving, Bonnie talked softball coach Fred Dohrmann at nearby Widener University into helping her refine skills. She also still gets an adrenaline rush from participating in annual Philadelphia Phillies Phantasy Camps. "It's very competitive - fast pitch hardball with 90-foot bases, and they use these monster wooden bats I can hardly swing. There's maybe four ladies that come out each year, and we play with the men. I was actually awarded a game ball the first year I went."
Bonnie has become a familiar face around the Phillies organization. "Every year, I connect with the team, catcher Mike Lieberthal and shortstop Kevin Stocker, and I've met many of the players and have become friends with Larry Anderson, the announcer," she says. "This year, the team even invited me to come see a game in the owner's box. I was happy to invite my coach, Fred Dohrmann, to come along and talk baseball with the people there."
Recent years have presented challenges with major surgeries almost every year since breaking her wrist while playing ball in 2010. "I just finished left shoulder work this year, and before that it was my right shoulder. Then, I had a knee replacement that involved three surgeries. There were other knee surgeries prior to that, and I've also had kidney stones."
Some might quit after a string like that, but Bonnie explains "I use sports as a way to get through it. I've got to get better each time so I won't have an excuse for not playing. It would be easy to do that."
We want to hear more great stories! To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you, Please Click Here.
Social Media: Like Us? Make Sure You Really "LIKE" Us
NSGA's social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@seniorgames1) have become powerful and cost-effective promotional tools to spread the word about the Senior Games Movement. YOU can help us reach more people by simply liking our page and also liking, commenting and sharing with our Facebook and Instagram posts. Liking and replying or retweeting us on Twitter has the same boosting effect. By interacting with our pages, it also tells them that you want to see more of the same content from National Senior Games. So, like, do it!
Senior Health and Wellness
Better Balance for Sports and Falls Prevention
Falls are a concern of epidemic proportions in aging adults. In the general population of seniors at least 1 in 3 experience a fall each year. As previously reported, Senior Athlete Fitness Exam (SAFE) research has demonstrated that senior athletes have a much lower incidence of falls than the general population with only one in ten experiencing a fall in a given year. This speaks volumes to the benefits of sport participation to promote healthy aging. Yet, why do 10% of senior athletes still fall?
With age, our sensory organs lose cells and require more input to get our attention. We use glasses to correct this in our vision, hearing aids for auditory stimulus and sometimes more seasoning to improve our interest in food. But, what about our sense of balance? We do not have a quick fix or a device that can assist our balance control.
Athletes who participated in a SAFE exam may have been surprised by the difficulty they had balancing on one foot. Most Senior Games athletes do not notice that their balance has changed until they are challenged by a test or, unfortunately, experience a fall. Improving balance can enhance your sport performance as well as prevent falls.
Training your balance responses can guide you toward better sport performance, a lower risk of falling and, overall, more physical independence as you age. However, once you stop a balance training routine your balance will likely decline again. Integrating these concepts and habits should be a lifelong endeavor toward overall health.
Talk and Share About Falls Prevention with Others!
September 22nd, the first day of fall, is National Fall Prevention Awareness Day. NSGA encourages athletes and member organizations of the Senior Games Movement to please share the National Council on Aging (NCOA) "Conversation Starters" link. NCOA's website also has links to evidence-based falls prevention programs and to find programs near you.
In addition, Active Aging Week is hosted annually by the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) during the last week of September and highlights the capabilities of older adults as fully participating members of society. Please supplement your falls prevention conversations with the ICAA handout "What you can do to prevent falls." Finally, NSGA partner Go4Life also has online exercise instructions to promote better balance.
Article by Dr. Becca Jordre, NSGA Foundation Trustee, and Andrew Walker, NSGA Health and Wellness Manager.
Ten Nutrients to Help You Age Beautifully
Some people may think getting older means slowing down. Doing less. Taking it easy. At SmartyPants, we disagree. We think there are more age groups to conquer. More events to compete in. Now's the time to run circles around those grandkids.
But good health doesn't just happen. With every passing birthday, nutrition and lifestyle become more and more important. So, in an effort to make things a little easier for you, we've put together 10 nutrients proven to help you age like the finest of wine (or cheese).
The first is collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. It gives our bones, joints, and skin strength and structure, and also plays a role in the replacement of dead skin cells. One way to support your body's collagen production is by eating nutrients like as vitamin C and A. Learn more about collagen and the other 9 nutrients here.
Want more helpful tips like these? Check out the SmartyPants Blog, "The Recommended Daily."
NSGA is proud to have SmartyPants Vitamins as Sponsor of the 2019 Flame Arrival Ceremony.
Senior Games Blogs
NSGA Staffer Begins "Moon Walking" Journey to The Games
There are several interesting, informative and entertaining blogs to be found on the Senior Games Blogs section at NSGA.com. If you have a non-commercial athlete blog that you'd like to share there's a link on the page to submit yours for consideration."Moon Walking: Confessions of an Accidental Senior Athlete" is a new blog by NSGA's communications staffer Del Moon, who has taken up Power Walk and now plans to enter the 1500-meter event when the sport debuts at the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana. "I haven't done sports since I was a teen, and I needed motivation to keep my weight down and activity up," he explains. "Getting into The Games gives me a goal, and I felt that sharing what I will learn and experience might resonate with other Baby Boomers like me. I hope the blog helps to promote the addition of Power Walk in 2019 and how much fun it is to be a senior athlete."