The Long Run - September 2015

Association News
NSGA Enters Marketing Partnership
We are pleased to announce a long-term agreement with Rockbridge Sports Group to manage and provide NSGA with a customized multimedia rights platform that will further extend the NSGA brand on a national level.
"We are excited to partner with Rockbridge Sports Group to build NSGA's portfolio of partners and sponsors. "NSGA looks forward to benefiting from Rockbridge's experience, expertise, success, and approach to maximizing value from complex sponsorship and media assets," said NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker.  Read the entire news release at on the News and Events page.

Game On!
2015 Results Book Coming Soon   
One of the best improvements in The Games was with competition results management using digital technology and well-trained officials at sports venues. Athletes, fans and media enjoyed finding official results posted online more rapidly than previous games.
These improvements also mean that production of the 2015 Results Book has also moved forward more quickly. It is anticipated that the book will be printed and mailed to all 2015 competitors by the end of October.
"NSGA is committed to constantly finding ways to improve and enhance the athlete experience," said Sue Hlavacek, NSGA Director of Events and Programs. "At the heart of it all is providing well-organized and managed competition events, but it extends to everything from the registration process to providing timely results." 
The Games in The News, International
Major media coverage is still reverberating from the 2015 National Senior Games presented by Humana with a three-minute video feature (see link below) that has to date been aired six times since Sept. 12  on the BBC World News channel on Saturday.
The story angle features the NSGA Fitness Age Survey results that were announced just before The Games commenced in July. Among the athletes interviewed are NSGA Personal Best athletes DeEtte Sauer, Jerry Levasseur and Jane Kaiser, plus 100-year-old swimmer Mary Jackson and Four-time 2015 track gold medalist Brenda Mathews. DeEtte Sauer is also a 2013 Humana Game Changer.
BBC reporter Amir Payam also interviewed Dr. Pamela Peeke, who will be co-writing a medical journal report on the survey results, and physical therapist and University of South Dakota professor Becca Jordre, who has been conducting senior athlete screenings at the National Senior Games since 2011.
BBC - Exercise makes people 'younger' in later life.
2015 Games Media Coverage Best Yet
On a related subject, we are pleased to report that overall media coverage for the 2015 National Senior Games spiked more than three times more than 2013 based on circulation and impression ratings.  
Media tracking measured through August 5th shows that the 2015 National Senior Games generated 1,032 individual media placements, garnering 226,099,566 media impressions across print, online and broadcast coverage. Since that date, post-event news, mostly in the form of hometown media athlete stories, has continued to appear at better than one article per day.
NSGA's Communications and Media Director Del Moon credits the improvement to increased year-round NSGA communications and a well-orchestrated team effort by our national public relations firm (Coyne PR), Presenting Sponsor Humana, and local host organization media relations in Minnesota.  He also notes several specific activities around The Games that contributed to the uptick in media coverage:
  • A national press release reporting results of the NSGA Fitness Test Survey was kicked off with an exclusive story in the New York Times on July 1st, just as The Games were beginning;
  • Photos and video of track and field competition featuring centenarians Fred Winter and John Zilverberg made a big media splash, including a TODAY Show feature and an ESPN Play of the Day selection;
  • Successful promotion of the Humana Game Changers and other activations by Humana, and
  • NSGA's self-produced online 2015 Games Daily News and official 2015 Photo Gallery which bolstered web and social media activity.

HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
Aiming For 100
It's not everyone who can pick up a sport at the age of 92, overcome a last place finish at his first national event and come back undaunted and capture a gold medal two years later. For Charlie Edwards of Springfield, Virginia, it was just another interesting challenge to conquer.
Now 96, Charlie took up archery on a whim, having shared an elevator ride four years ago with a fellow resident of his Greenspring retirement community holding a strange looking bundle that turned out to be a bow and arrow. Intrigued, he bought a beginners bow and started practicing at nearby Fort Belvoir on the military base's ranges.  He entered some competitions and qualified at the Virginia Senior Games to go to the 2013 National Senior Games presented by Humana.
"I came in third in a field of three in the 90 to 94 age group," he recalls. "The thing that kept me going, though, was that those other two guys were good and I was still competitive. One had been at it for 80 years and the other had worked as a professional instructor. I didn't look ridiculous out there, and that was encouraging as hell."
This year, Charlie traveled to The Games in Minnesota with two of his children. "One or more always go with me and we have a good time. But I thought Minneapolis would be a wonderful place to go in July and it didn't exactly turn out as cool as I thought. I didn't see a single snowflake the whole time!"
This time, he found himself with no competition in the 95-99 age division of compound release.  In a recent feature in The Washington Post, Charlie joked that made it a lot easier for him to win. "Here I am a national champion without anybody ever challenging me," he said. "That's embarrassing, but nevertheless, I'm gonna keep my gold medal."
With a background as a decorated World War II Navy fighter pilot, we asked if his above average vision helped his rapid improvement in the sport. "Probably, but a steady hand is a big part of it too. As I've gotten older I've been able to avoid having any tremors which would really wreck the whole effort."
The outgoing archer attributes his youth athletics, which included being on a championship wrestling team at Lehigh University, as setting the tone for keeping active and healthy throughout his life. He also credits his genes, saying  "My mother lived to 93, and my grandmother to 99. So I still have a few years to go to be the oldest in my family."
"I feel good. I just don't know what's going to stop me," he proclaims, then jokes, "Of course, you know, it might be a jealous husband or something like that."
Charlie is making plans for 2017 and beyond. "I could decide to be a swimmer too. I've been in most of the oceans of the world, but what I do now is mostly just splash around and have fun. I have a long way to go to be competitive.  But I absolutely have no doubt in my mind that I will compete in the 100 to 104 age group in The Games when they come along!" 
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!

Senior Health and Wellness
Michigan Personal Best Tour Blog Recounts NSGA Visit
The 2015 Personal Best Tour rolled into the Motor City last month to profile another great athlete story and to check out some action at the Michigan Senior Olympics.
We always strive to work with our hosts to make each Personal Best presentation special and unique. This time, we were delighted to have Detroit Tigers baseball legend Willie Horton join in the fun. Better yet, it turned out that racquetball player Sharon Huczek, our Personal Best athlete honoree, is a huge Tigers fan and lacked Willie's autograph on her 1968 World Series team baseball. Not any more!
Visit the Personal Best page to read all about our Michigan visit, and to check out past tour visits and Personal Best athlete profiles. Next on the schedule: NSGA rolls the dice and doubles down in Las Vegas on October 4th. (Find out what that means in the next newsletter!)
Processed Foods Are Killing Us
The following is a summary of an article provided by Heather Sumpter, Community Health Educator for Humana at Home.  Please use the link at the bottom to read the complete article.
Many of us are so busy that quick, convenient meals feel like the only option. Processed foods have become a staple in the western diet; in fact, they account for 60% of the products we buy at the grocery store. Processed foods are those that contain additives, preservatives, genetically modified materials, hormones and other unnatural materials that compromise the original structure of the food.
There are plenty of negative health consequences associated with an increase in consumption of processed foods:
  • Antibiotics
  • High Amounts of Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • High in Trans Fat and Vegetable Oils
  • Highly Addictive and Low in Nutrients
It's not yet completely known to what extent that manufactured ingredients have on our health. It is best to consume mostly whole natural foods to meet your needs. Consult with your healthcare provider before making any major changes to your diet.

NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Senior Games Styles For All Seasons
It's never too early to look forward to the qualifying games next year. With the fall air becoming more crisp, you can start getting mentally and physically in gear by sporting a long sleeve T-Shirt or a pullover bearing the NSGA or 2015 Games logo. Get it customized with a sport image on one sleeve. We give you many options!
No matter what season, there's official merchandise that's just a few clicks away. To see choices and order, visit The NSGA Official Store at
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