The Long Run - November 2016
NSGA Names Health and Wellness Manager
Andrew M. Walker has joined NSGA as the first-ever Health and Wellness Manager, underscoring our commitment to advocate healthy, active lifestyles for people 50 and over. He will serve as staff liaison to the NSGA Foundation and Member organizations, manage partnerships with like-minded organizations, and will assist with selecting content for our newsletter and website.
Walker's professional experience spans more than two decades and includes serving as a corporate wellness manager for AT&T, and as a consultant starting and managing evidence based wellness programs, most notably statewide programs for the Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Association of County Commissioners. Walker has also taught at college and public school levels.
"Andrew has a broad base of experience as an innovative health promotion and wellness professional," said NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker. "With his addition to our staff, NSGA's advocacy is entering a new and more productive era."
Walker was a four-year track letterman at the University of Florida, and has become a dedicated practitioner of Tai Chi who is certified to teach its benefits in arthritis and falls prevention. "My career has been committed to positively impacting the health of individuals, organizations and communities," Walker said. "I'm excited with this opportunity to grow NSGA's national outreach efforts, and to hopefully inspire more seniors to get moving and stay active."
2017 Registration Underway
Registration for the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana has now begun! Here's a few reminders about the process and related information for athletes:
- When you can register- Qualified Athletes can register for the 2017 Games when the state(s) they qualified in are listed on the registration page at NSGA.com. States are listed as soon as all their results are submitted to NSGA and verified. When the results have been uploaded, NSGA will send an information e-blast to those qualified athletes. NSGA will also send out one postcard by mail to their address of NSGA record with the same notification. Early registration will end February 28th, with the final registration deadline being April 2nd.
- Online Travel and Lodging Page- Make your travel plans and hotel reservations on the Travel and Lodging page.Find the best lodging nearest to where you want to be! National Travel Systems (NTS), our experienced Official Housing/Travel Partner, has worked hard to negotiate the best hotels and rates, as well as setting up air and car rental discounts. The site will be constantly updated with the latest information and best deals.
- Sport Schedules are now posted- All sports schedules are now available to view and download on the Competition Schedule page.
Last Chance Qualifying - The Florida Senior Games in December will still take online registration for all offered sports until Friday, November 18. The California Encore Games are winding down, and the only remaining sport you can still register for is badminton with an online deadline of November 28. Click on the links for more information.
2017 Venue Snapshot: CrossPlex Hosts Swimming and Volleyball
The Birmingham CrossPlex is a 750,000 square foot, multi-purpose athletic and meeting complex located just ten minutes west of the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center, which is the Hub of activities for The Games. This world-class facility, built by the City of Birmingham at a cost of $46 million, will host swimming and volleyball for The Games. Parking is plentiful and attendees will find all the amenities they would want for an enjoyable and comfortable visit.
Since its opening in 2011, the CrossPlex has been in high demand and maintains a busy schedule, including championship events for the NCAA Division I and II and seven college conferences, plus state and local high school contests and myriad other meets and championships in more than eight sports.
The natatorium side features a 50-meter indoor Olympic swimming pool designed by Counsilman-Hunsaker, full-size locker rooms and showers for both men and women, plus a first aid room and a meet management/multi-purpose classroom. There's room for up to 1,300 spectators in the stands and on the deck. There's also a large digital multi-screen display board.
For volleyball, the CrossPlex will have 11 volleyball courts in their main gym, which are Mondosport Performance flooring. Plus three additional courts in the connected arena for a total of 14. Athletes will enjoy this venue.
"Surprising Birmingham" Feature
Frankly, people should not be surprised at finding appealing locations in Birmingham, but recently the popular website Great American Country listed "12 Appealing Sites in Alabama" and devoted several selections to the city, saying they found some surprises there. They mention "forward-thinking art galleries" and say Birmingham is dripping with Southern charm. That's not surprising to those familiar with the city.
Other places they were taken with included Railroad Park, where "the entire downtown area has been revitalized, showing how progressive this city truly is." They also were surprised to find the world's largest collection of vintage motorcycles and Lotus cars at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. View the gallery here.
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
At Your Service
Carroll Marty has found the key to happiness and longevity, and it's the same for all senior athletes: just keep moving. However, the 82-year-old has taken it to a level where it's hard to keep up withthe Iowa native and longtime resident of Ames.
It's not that he's been a lifelong competitive athlete; that really began 30 years ago when he entered his first all-ages Iowa Games, and in the Iowa Senior Games when they were created two years later. He hasn't missed a year of competing in badminton, racquetball, track and other sports in his home state games. He's visited games in neighboring states-we found him helping tape down badminton courts at the Minnesota Senior Games in 2014-and he has brought home several medals from his treks to nine National Senior Games starting in 1995.
Carroll's distinguishing characteristic is that he likes to stay active by volunteering to help others and improve life in his community. "I've always been this way, probably more so since I retired in 2000 after selling insurance for 35 years," he observes. "I'm a handyman and always doing something, whether it's for the Iowa Games, Iowa Senior Games or with my Kiwanis Club. A lot of my volunteer work involves light construction, welding and building things. I like to work and accomplish things."
His contributions are appreciated. He built the disc golf course in Ames, and in gratitude the city named it after him. Carrollhas constructed and painted more than 40 award stand blocks, a climbing wall, a torch holder, and even built a loft in the warehouse attached to the state game's office, among other tasks. "Carroll is always a guy we can count on," says Kevin Bourke, COO of the Iowa Sports Foundation.
Because of his steady athletic participation for multiple sports, and service as a volunteer and event director, he was inducted into the Iowa Senior Games Hall of Fame in 2013. He was also honored as the Iowa Games Athlete of the Year and the National Congress of State Games Male Athlete of the Year in 2012.
Carroll's athletic pursuits have also inspired his own family. In 2014, his wife and all of their children and spouses-one dozen strong-participated in Iowa Senior Games as an early celebration for his 80th birthday. "Everybody got a medal, and we even set some records," he recalls. "We had a great time."
Badminton and racquetball are now his main sports, and he is the current badminton director for the Iowa Senior Games. "So many people in the United States don't know what badminton really is. They think you're in the backyard dinking a birdie back and forth, but it's really the fastest racquet sport. I'm told good players can hit it over 200 miles per hour coming off the racquet. Not me, but I can hit it pretty hard once in awhile."
The bottom line is simple for Carroll. "This activity keeps me healthy," he says. "If you don't do stuff, you lose your muscle tone and get flabby. Then you have all kinds of problems. I enjoy doing all of this."
We're always looking for great athlete stories. Submit yours or nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you at our Athlete of the Month page at NSGA.com!
Senior Health and Wellness
Delaware Personal Best Visit Celebrates Fitness, Fun and Fellowship
NSGA attended the Delaware Senior Olympics annual awards luncheon on November 5 to recognize 77-year-old Georgia Billger as our final Personal Best athlete of 2016. CEO Marc T. Riker was also the keynote speaker at the event and shared information about the 2017 Games and plans for celebrating our 30th anniversary at the congenial gathering.
Billger, who has participated in state and national games for 16 years, was recognized not only for her active involvement, but also as an inspiration for persevering through heart and abdominal surgeries to continue to participate in DSO and the National Senior Games. As her Personal Best profile "Heart and Soul" relates, she was a tennis prodigy as a teen, and then found pickleball as a senior and has helped recruit others to join in the active fun. She also served as the state's pickleball co-coordinator for three years.
Delaware may be a small state, but they were big on enthusiasm. Don't miss checking out our Personal Best blog for fun photos and stories about the athletes we met in Dover.
Share Your Memories of The Games
We need more of your memories! Tell us your favorite story, from funny to inspirational, from your participation in past National Senior Games. The simple online form offers several ideas for the type of brief messages we would love to share with others during 2017. You can also email us a photo to go with your story.
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Pssst! Santa! I want Senior Games Gear!
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and that means holiday gift-giving season is upon us. Your spouse, children and friends can never figure out what to get you, so you need to take charge if you want to unwrap more than new socks or a motorized back scratcher. Start dropping hints that you want NSGA gear with the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana logo to put you in the proper mood to go to Birmingham next June!
It's easy to order wearables with 2017 Games and other motivational images and logos at our online store. Simply click on either the NSGA or 2017 logo to find the various apparel types, then click "Personalize" to position and add the artwork you want onto your selection.