The Long Run - April 2018
Media Stories Promote The Games
In recent years, NSGA has made a year-round effort to promote the Senior Games Movement to traditional and online media outlets. In the past, we always enjoyed media attention around the National Senior Games, but coverage was slim during the "off year" when a lot of the action centered around the qualifying games being held all over the country. When we do score a big hit during this time, we're particularly proud to be making progress to raise awareness for everyone.
In March, we were pleased to see several stories providing major exposure for The Games and the featured senior athletes. We want to share links to these stories for everyone's enjoyment:
- ESPN-Following the latest world record (60-meter for women 100+) by Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins, ESPN produced an extended story for SC Featured. A must-view!
- BBC World News- Also on the heels of record performances, scores of US and international outlets reported about Julia Hawkins and fellow centenarian runner Orville Rogers. Here is a Facebook link to the BBC interview with both amazing athletes.
- Wall Street Journal - What's Your Workout regular column featured Georgia swimmer Faith Pescatore, both online and in print edition. Excellent story and information about The Games. (Sorry, online article now requires subscription)
In addition, we heavily promote Personal Best stories as part of our strategy to gain more media buzz. We've only unveiled half of our athlete stories that will be shared this year. Already, our Personal Best rock star table tennis player, Carol Klenfner of New York City, has received features in local media that reached a combined audience nearing 500,000 readers. You can read Carol's Personal Best feature here, and check out the follow-up placements in amNewYork and in the Times-Ledger.
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to get real-time news about media stories and more. Please Like and Share these stories to help NSGA spread the word about Senior Games even farther!!"
2019 Venue Spotlight: Softball
More than 1,500 men and women are expected to compete in softball at The Games. When they see the gorgeous Albuquerque Regional Sports Complex, they might rub their eyes and think they have found the Field of Dreams.
Built in 2017 as part of the city's ongoing commitment to increase and enhance recreation and competitive sports opportunities, the facility features five lighted fields with portable fencing, plus double first base and home plate. The field of play can easily be adjusted for baseball, softball and little league. The complex features synthetic turf, covered dugouts, ample bleacher seating, full concessions, press boxes, and locker rooms.
The multipurpose building's second floor has an event room and offers a commanding 360 degree view of the Rio Grande Valley. Softball players will long remember their experience at this world-class venue!
Albuquerque's Rich Diversity of Museums
Albuquerque's world-class museums feature unique and captivating exhibits on history, the arts, culture, science and more. We've already shared a taste with mentions of the Albuquerque Museum and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in our last newsletter. Athletes and visitors can explore the city's more than 20 museums for a fascinating enlightening visit.
With truly unique museums, from the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum and Tinkertown Museum to the American International Rattlesnake Museum and the Turquoise Museum, there are exhibits to satisfy every interest:
- Albuquerque has the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum: houses engaging exhibitions and informative programs on the history, science and art of hot air ballooning, including an immersive 4D balloon flight simulator theater.
- Tinkertown Museum: includes a collection of hundreds of miniature wood-carved figures, over 50,000 glass bottles, wagon wheels and old-fashioned storefronts.
- Turquoise Museum: discover interesting facts about turquoise and its presence in New Mexico, view turquoise samples from over 100 mines, and learn how to recognize the differences between authentic and fake turquoise.
- American International Rattlesnake Museum: offers a large array of snake-related artwork, artifacts and memorabilia. Earn your "Certificate of Bravery" by learning about snake bites, venom and fangs at the world's largest collection of live rattlesnake species.
2018 Qualifying Games "Springing Up" All Over!
The 2018 qualifying year is now blooming, and senior athletes should be doing their research and planning which game, or games, they will attend to qualify for the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Albuquerque.
Games opening in May include Washington DC, IN, MD, SC and VA. June will see continued action in many states and the start of competition in MO, MT, NY, OH, OR, TN and WV. Some games are spread over multiple weekends or months, so go to the State Information page at NSGA.com to find dates, sports, website and contacts.
April Athlete of the Month
Badminton-Straight from the Source
The game of badminton has been around for more than two thousand years, but it did not gain worldwide popularity as a competitive sport until 19th century British colonists found "Poona," as it was called, in the city of Pune (pronounced the same) near Bombay, India. They brought it back to England and the modern sport grew from there.
Kamal Chaudhari, an accomplished senior badminton player who has been daunting opponents since the age of 16, knows this history well because he was born and raised in Pune. He was ranked #1 with his college team.
"I've never had a formal coach so to speak," he says. "There was a badminton court behind our house and my mother taught me how to play. I didn't even have a good backhand shot until about ten years ago. The president of our University of South Florida badminton club, John Obara, taught me how to do it right."
Kamal came to America in 1959 on scholarship to gain a master's degree in engineering at the University of Alabama. "I took a bus all the way from New York City to Tuscaloosa," he recalls. "I didn't realize their mascot was an elephant, which is revered in India, until I got there. That was cool."
He got more than a degree; he met his future wife Ann while in school, and she picked up badminton too. The 83-year-old still expresses gratitude for having a successful marriage, his sporting activity, and to still be working five decades later as a full-time structural engineer in Tampa.
Through the years the 125-pound powerhouse has competed in countless local and international tournaments. He played his first Senior Games in Florida in 1997, followed by the National Senior Games in Orlando in 1999.
Kamal, who has overcome cancer twice, feels he is enjoying badminton more than ever. "I have been to probably 80 per cent of all of the state Senior Games," he explains. "I like Senior Games even more than the international tournaments because there are many more senior players."
The medals keep coming- he earned one gold and two silvers at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana- but he has many other reasons to stay in the game.
"It's very good exercise, and we have fun socializing when we do it," he says. "And it really gets me going to know I'm going to meet elite players when I go to Nationals. It may be a year away, but I start to tell myself to get out and practice to be ready.
"I take it very seriously. It's important to have a good mindset," he continues. "You have to think where to place the shuttlecock where the other player is not. And when you get older, you aren't as fast and can't hit it quite as hard, so you have to be a 'placer' and play smart."
He says his style depends on who he plays, and if with a partner. "I like to 'shoot down.' If the shuttlecock comes in high you have to finish it. When I get a shot like that, I say 'Thank you' because it is a gift!"
Kamal and Ann enjoy practicing with their club at the gym. "We take a class each semester, and that allows us to be members to use the gym. We audit the courses, so we learn new things and don't have to take a test or worry about grades."
Asked about his most interesting experience on court, he shares a story from his youth. "When I was a freshman at Pune University there was a beautiful girl I was interested in. Her parents were from a royal family and they wanted her to marry a king. She was not a good player, so my mother helped us practice together in the back yard. I don't know whatever happened to that girl, or if she ever married royalty.
But we both learned to play badminton!"
We're always looking for great athlete stories! Submit yours, or nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you. Click here for the submission form.
Senior Health and Wellness
Help Yourself and NSGA by Taking 'My Life Check'
NSGA is excited to offer Senior Games athletes access to a tool that provides personalized health tips to help make positive health changes. The American Heart Association's (AHA) My Life Check health assessment provides a heart health score, feedback and recommendations assisting you in achieving optimal health.
In the near future, qualified Senior Games athletes will receive a special NSGA email invitation with a code to complete the brief, confidential assessment. We are hoping for full participation because the My Life Check is the initial stage of a Senior Games health enhancement initiative designed especially to improve the wellbeing of Senior Games athletes. Survey results are private, and only you can directly obtain your personal information. Group data will form the basis for future athlete wellness program planning.
Since very few adults have ideal cardiovascular health, the My Life Check assessment provides you with rich insight and tips towards achieving your best heart health score. In addition to optimizing your health for a personal best performance, AHA believes this tool will help you in moving toward ideal heart health that also is associated with lower risk for cancer, diabetes, depression and improved cognitive function.
After answering a few key questions and providing biometrics (health numbers), you will receive results which can be tracked over time so you can monitor positive health changes. The questions are straight forward, and the assessment tool works on desktop and mobile devices. You will be answering questions about three vital metrics including blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar. If you have trouble locating these measurements, just skip ahead and return when you have the results.
We appreciate the support and participation of all Senior Game athletes to help us understand how to serve your health and wellness needs. Long Live the Challenge!
-Andrew M. Walker MPH, NSGA Director of Health & Wellness
The Digestion Diaries: 7 Natural Remedies to Banish Tummy Troubles
We've all had it: the dreaded stomach ache. It can strike at any time, from too much to eat while binge-watching TV, heartburn from some seriously spicy Thai food, too many turns on the Tilt-A-Whirl, or, worst case scenario, the stomach bug.
There are a lot of ways to treat tummy troubles that are a lot gentler on your system and don't involve reaching in the medicine cabinet right away. One tried and true method, chamomile tea.
It's a pretty amazing herb that, surprisingly, grows like a weed in most places. It's also one of the most popular herbs in the world. Chamomile contains anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties, all of which make it good for soothing the stomach. Studies have also shown that chamomile may increase urinary levels of glycine, an amino acid that has been shown to relieve muscle spasms. So, it's no wonder chamomile can relieve an upset stomach, stomach cramps, and occasional abdominal gas. It's at its best when consumed as a tea.
NSGA is proud to have SmartyPants Vitamins as Sponsor of the 2019 Flame Arrival Ceremony.
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Attention NSGA Athletes!
April is the final month to get your OFFICIAL 2017 Event Logo Merchandise in the ONLINE STORE.
In fact, for the next two (2) weeks, SELECT ITEMS listed below are being offered at ROCK BOTTOM CLEARANCE PRICES. Now through May 1st!
- 2017 Embroidered Polo ($25.00)
- 2017 Embroidered Windbreakers ($26.00)
- 2017 Embroidered 1/4 zip jackets ($26.00)
- 2017 Golf balls ($4.00) for set of 3
- 2017 Baseball Hats ($9.00)
- 2017 Outback Hat ($10.00)
- 2017 Lapel Pins ($2.50)