The Long Run - February 2019
NSGA Contact Information Reminder
In May 2018, the NSGA HQ relocated to Clearwater, Florida.
Please make note of new contact information.
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5630, Clearwater FL 33758-5630
Main Phone: (727) 475-1187
2019 NSGA Annual Conference News
More than 100 attendees converged on the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky last month for the NSGA 2019 Annual Conference. It was a central location for our Board of Directors, Member Games representatives, partners, and vendors to learn and exchange ideas in advance of June's 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Albuquerque.
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.
The gathering is also the opportunity for NSGA Association Awards, which recognize best practices by Members to promote their Games. The winners, decided by the Members, were:
- Website Design- 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 also introduced at the conference: 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.
For more information, please see the link below to our conference recap in News and Events.
And the next 2019 Personal Best Feature Athletes are..
"Love Finds a Way to Hit the Mark"
It started as a story about a man overcoming a brain tumor that paralyzed his arm and affected his balance and speech to learn how to shoot archery again by using his mouth to release the arrow. That is indeed remarkable, but when we interviewed Patti Gauvin on behalf of her husband Ron, it became clear that this is first and foremost a love story. Do not miss our conversation with the New Hampshire couple to discover how Patti learned to also love the sport and became qualified to compete in Albuquerque.
For Hope Casias of San Antonio, playing volleyball is even more than a group experience-it's a family matter. She comes from a large family and is the matriarch of her own large family. She also speaks of her local league, tournament team, and the other volleyball players who come to National Senior Games as family, too. Read as Hope matter-of-factly discusses her bout with breast cancer and needing two knee replacements as things that she simply had to get through, and how she envisions a future that includes many more volleyball games.
"A Hand Up From Humana" 2019 Games Scholarship Deadline Nears
Do you know someone who deserves a "hand up" to attend the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana? Ten athletes who are otherwise unable to due to a life-changing situation and financial challenges will be awarded scholarships to attend The Games through "A Hand Up from Humana." Don't wait - nominate/apply at the link below. Hurry, nominations close on February 28.
Reminder - Early Registration Discount Ends Feb. 28
All qualified athletes have now been notified by email and post card that they can register for the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana. We want to remind you that there is an early registration discount that will expire Thursday, February 28 at 11:59 PM PST . Please register now to enjoy this discount! Also note that the final registration deadline is April 2.
Other Helpful Links
- National Games Links Page - Almost everything you need to know about The Games in Albuquerque can be found through links conveniently collected on this page.
- Travel and Lodging Page - Our user-friendly online booking process managed by National Transportation Systems (NTS) will guide you to lodging at the best guaranteed rates. There are also links to dorm rooms at University of New Mexico and for RV park information. Book now for best choices!
2019 Venue Spotlight: Cycling
Cycling events at two locations will provide safe, challenging and scenic routes for athletes to enjoy competing in New Mexico.
The 5K & 10K Time Trials will be located about 10 miles west of Albuquerque at Atrisco Vista Blvd. (I-40 West- Exit #153). The staging areas are just north of the exit.
The 20K and 40K Road Races will be staged at The Club at Las Campanas located just outside of Santa Fe about one hour north of Albuquerque. The 8.8 mile loop course around the private golf course and exclusive residential community is safe, quiet, fun and challenging (seeing about 500' elevation gain per lap) all while exemplifying the New Mexico rolling landscape. The Las Campanas community welcomes and supports many cycling events. Saddle up!
Singing Praises: "O Fair New Mexico"
The Land of Enchantment is calling you to come to the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana! To get you into the mood, here is the Official State Song as performed on YouTube by New Mexico musician/singer Busy McCarroll. Enjoy!
Social Media: Want to see More from us? Like and Follow us!
More and more older adults are joining social media to share experiences with family and friends and to become informed on topics, activities and organizations of interest, such as National Senior Games.
If you want to see more of our posts on Facebook, NSGA highly recommends that you make sure to Like both the item you read and click to Like the National Senior Games page under our cover photo. On Instagram and Twitter, it is called "Following." Simply click on the 'Search' (magnifying glass icon) and type in the page name you are looking for. (You can either type National Senior Games or Seniorgames1 to get our pages.) Once on the page you can click Like or Follow as applies.
While you are at it, go ahead and Like/Follow your own Qualifying Games pages to see more posts from them, too!
February Athlete of the Month
For Jersey Strong, it's Déjà vu in ABQ
It's hard to imagine any athletes being more excited to be going to the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana than three special teammates on the Jersey Strong women's 50+ softball team. That's because for them the road to Albuquerque this year went through Albuquerque more than three decades ago.
Sue Benjamin, Karen Strittmatter and Diane Pevny met each other in 1976 when they were recruited from around northern New Jersey to compete on a fast-pitch softball tournament team called the Ramsey Jais. The trio has continued to play together for all but a few years when they were starting their families.
"In 1984 we won the New Jersey State Championship and Mid-Atlantic Regionals and advanced to the ASA Class A Women's Fast Pitch National Tournament in Albuquerque," Sue explains. "Now, we're all excited that three of us are returning 35 years later to play softball in the National Senior Games!"
"I remember when we were all out fundraising to make the trip and singing that David Cassidy song ("Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque") on the way," Karen recalls. "It seems like so long ago, and now here we are. It's kinda crazy." Karen, who plays second base, also had her own special memory. "I was only able to be team manager at the time because I was pregnant with my first child. So, I remember being very sick," she laughs, adding, "But it was a lot of fun and a learning experience as a manager."
The youth trip to Albuquerque was their first to the Southwest, and they vividly recall taking the Sandia Tram up the mountain and visiting Old Town to buy beads and artifacts. "We had never seen things like that before, and we definitely want to go back," says Diane, the team's shortstop.
All three remember "playing in the wide-open" and are excited to see the new Albuquerque Regional Sports Complex with its vista across the valley up to the Sandia Mountains. "You look up from your game and see the red mountains," Karen says. "It's really pretty there."
There's one more connection to this story, because the coach who brought them together plans to reunite with them in Albuquerque. "Bernie Walton did a lot for softball in New Jersey," Sue says. "He's 87 and now lives in Colorado, and we're thrilled that he's driving down to see us play again. It's all coming around full circle."
Sue, who holds down third base and is Jersey Strong's captain, saw an article six years ago about an over 50 team going on to National Senior Games. "I was 52 and said, 'What the heck?' I'm a senior already." They quickly put a team together around their core and entered the New Jersey Senior Olympics, winning their division each year since.
The pilgrimage to New Mexico will be for their third National Senior Games, and they can't wait to go to Albuquerque again. Despite numerous injuries in 2017, Jersey Strong made it to the A division championship game, so the team feels they have unfinished business to settle in New Mexico. In addition to softball, Sue and Diane will play pickleball doubles and Diane will enjoy more scenery competing in golf.Each of the three also currently coach youth, high school or college softball.
"Back then, we thought people that were still playing softball at 25 and 30 were old timers," Sue observes. "It's great to have a venue to do this, to see other senior athletes who inspire us, and to be a part of a greater athletic community. Obviously, we have our friendships for life, too. None of us have any intention of giving it up now!"
We want to hear more great stories! To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you, Please Click Here.
Senior Health and Wellness
Total Body Training for Best Performance
Preparing for competition like Senior Games requires good total body fitness. A total body resistive exercise program will provide you with the fitness foundation you need to perform well in Albuquerque this June. Practicing this assists in establishing and building your fitness for your best sports performance.
Incorporating one of the following effective training programs into your routine will enhance your strength, flexibility, cardio respiratory, and neuromuscular training.
- The ACE Workout Kickstarter is a complete total body workout and conditioning program. It does not require extra equipment and is easy to do in the comfort of your home.Go to ACE Kickstarter Workout for exercises that are safe and organized so that you can adjust the intensity according to your level of fitness.
- For an efficient total body routine emphasizing strength, please see the following link to New York Times' Well Guide site for a routine created by Dr. Jordan Merzl MD. He designed a series of nine exercise effectively building total body strength. Approach these exercises carefully if you only have a basic overall fitness level. This routine is more advanced, requiring a solid level of fitness and balance. An easy to follow, total body exercise worksheet, is accessed by going to nytimes.com/guides/well/strength-training.
- Go4Life, another NSGA partner, offers less intense fitness programs. Access two basic overall workouts by opening the 20-minute-sample-workout-older-adults and/or the 60-minute-sample-workout.
- In addition to these routines, the NSGA website's Health and Wellness tab has five video exercise demos designed to enhance the general fitness for individuals of varying abilities and seniors interested in active living. The demos are helpful for both ambulatory and non-ambulatory athletes, and are found at nsga.com/fitness-videos.
Keeping your total body in shape is a central practice to be your personal best for life.