Gathering Learns and Shares About Improving Games, Promoting Health and Wellness
The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) hosted its 2019 Annual Conference from January 23-26 in Louisville, Kentucky, providing a central location for its Board of Directors, Member Games, partners, and vendors to gather, learn and exchange ideas in advance of June’s 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Albuquerque.
More than 100 attendees met in the historic Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville, and many recalled how well the city hosted The Games in 2007. Besides three days of conference business and the NSGA Annual Meeting, there were many informative sessions, roundtable discussions, and an opportunity for breakout meetings for coordinators from our five regions to collaborate on common issues.
An Awards Gala dinner featured the annual NSGA Media Awards, which recognize best practices by members to promote their Games. The winners, decided by voting of the attending members, were:
- Website- Delaware
- Medals- Texas
- Specialty/T-Shirt- Indiana
- Games Promotion Package ($50,000 and over) – New Mexico
- Games Promotion Package ($49,999 and under) – Alaska
- Wellness Program- Utah
Two new NSGA staff members were introduced to the association: Director of Marketing and Sponsorships Kevin Houseknecht, formerly with the Gainesville Sports Commission, and NSGA Business Manager Michael Press, formerly CFO for a nonprofit charter school system in Florida.
The conference also offered many topical sessions featuring both outside experts and knowledgeable presenters within the NSGA family. Some of the session highlights included:
- Attendees appreciated hearing tips and advice from leaders in the sport events industry from the Louisville Sports Commission, which was recognized as the best in the country in 2017. Julie Howell spoke about “Engaging Local Sponsorships” and Greg Fante, vice president for sports development, teamed with Louisville Tourism’s Gen Howard to discuss best ways to create partnerships with sports and tourism agencies.
- Health and Wellness updates – Dr. Becca Jordre, who has spearheaded the Senior Athlete Fitness Exam (SAFE) athlete screening program since 2011, shared ways that more individual states can offer SAFE screening at their Games. Commentary was added by NSGA Health and Wellness Director Andrew M. Walker, and Davis Cox of Massachusetts talked about how his state has engaged stakeholders there to partner with them to promote Massachusetts Senior Games and senior fitness.
- “Reframing Aging” – Chris Dugan of New Hampshire presented new information from major research about how to effectively avoid negative language and have clear communications about aging and the positive examples Senior Games provides for older adults to stay fit and healthy.
- The Albuquerque host committee’s team provided a progress report on organizing efforts, including an overview of sport venues, special events, cultural offerings and perks for athletes, such as free public transport passes. Gretchen Judah from National Travel Systems (NTS), NSGA’s housing and travel partner, reported that the online booking system was working well to pair athletes with their best lodging options, and reminded Members about dorm room availability at the University of New Mexico.
- Social Media was discussed by NSGA Director of Communications and Media Del Moon, who revealed there will be a fun “hashtag” campaign for athletes and participants to share their social media experiences. Details will be shared by email and newsletter in the near future.
The conference concluded with the NSGA Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, where membership heard reports about the organization’s activities and held board elections. Kate Amack (Colorado) was re-elected as board chair, and all directors up for re-election were given extended terms, including Brad Allen (North Carolina), Kyle Case (Utah), Mark Schmitz (Missouri), Chris Shirring (Ohio), and Tom Stillwell (Arizona).
“We’re happy to have so many positive comments about this conference,” NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker said. “We hope what we offer will be productive and stimulate further collaboration between us and among the Members to constantly improve the Senior Games Movement.”
The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) is a nonprofit Multi-Sports Council member of the United States Olympic Committee that promotes health and wellness for adults 50 and over through education, fitness and sport. NSGA governs the biennial National Senior Games, the largest multi-sport championship event in the world for seniors. NSGA is comprised of 52 Member Games across the country and in Canada who conduct competitions which serve as qualifying events for the National Senior Games. The 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico from June 14-25, 2019. For more information, please visit www.NSGA.com.
NSGA Communications Contact: News@NSGA.com