FALMOUTH, MA – The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) visited the recent Massachusetts Council on Aging (NCOA) annual conference to make a workshop presentation highlighted with recognition of 85-year-old Amy Hicks as the first senior athlete from the state to be honored with the its “Personal Best Award.” Hicks also received a congratulatory citation signed by Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Amy Polito at the event.
NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker said the Needham resident was selected “for her perseverance to continue with senior sports for three decades despite significant physical challenges, and for helping and inspiring others to remain active.” Riker explained to conference attendees that Hicks has found ways to overcome spinal stenosis and other arthritic conditions to pursue a long career in track and field competitions with Massachusetts and National Senior Games for three decades. “Amy had an active sporting life as a youth and enjoyed helping others as an educator and coach after college,” Riker said. “Despite the pain of her affliction, she was determined to continue with sports as a senior, and has become an inspiration and role model for others seeking to keep moving.”
“This is a great honor to be selected from hundreds of other athletes in our state,” Hicks said in her comments, which concluded with advice she wanted the council members to bring back to their communities. “It’s never too late to start, and the Games are the best place to start. It’s competition, sure, but you have a good time doing something new and getting fit. Like I always say, if you don’t move it, you will rust!”
The award was given during a workshop presentation titled “Senior Games is More Than Just Fun and Games,” which NSGA made in collaboration with board members Greg Tooker and Davis Cox of the Massachusetts Senior Games. Riker shared results of National Senior Games athlete fitness screenings over several years that confirm staying active greatly improves a person’s health and quality of life, followed by information sharing about opportunities for individuals and organizations to participate in the state.
Since 2013, NSGA’s Personal Best program has profiled athletes with wide-ranging stories of overcoming challenges with the goal to inspire and motivate all aging Americans to stay active to pursue their own “personal best” lifestyle. Hicks is the first Massachusetts athlete to be recognized in the program. An in-depth interview feature about Hicks and for previous selected athletes can be found on the Personal Best page at NSGA.com.
“Our recognition program has profiled athletes of all abilities from many backgrounds,” Riker said. “They provide a simple common message of inspiration to others of all ages: Just keep moving and you will enjoy a healthier, happier and longer life. We offer Senior Games as a great option to find fitness, fun and fellowship.”
The Massachusetts Senior Games, formed in 1991 by Dr. Jack Neumann of Springfield College, serves as the state’s qualifying event for athletes 50 and over to compete in the biennial National Senior Games. Their annual games offer competitions in winter and summer sports spread across nearly 30 communities in the Commonwealth. Please visit www.MAseniorgames.org for information.
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. It governs the biennial National Senior Games, the largest multi-sport event for people age 50+ in the world. Athletes qualify to compete at one of 53 sanctioned state games such as the Massachusetts Senior Games. 10,000+ athletes are expected to compete in 20 medal sports over 12 days in five-year age divisions at the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana, to be hosted in Albuquerque, New Mexico from June 14-25, 2019.
NSGA: Del Moon, NSGA Media Director (678) 549-4444 / Dmoon@NSGA.com
MASG: Davis Cox, President (508) 393-8785 / info@MAseniorgames.org