The Long Run - September 2016

Association News
All Covered: North Dakota Senior Games Will Return in 2017
NSGA is proud to announce that, after a lapse of ten years, the North Dakota Senior Games will return in 2017 with games in Fargo, August 17-18. Our thanks to theFargo-Moorhead Athletic Commission powered by the FMCVB and the Fargo Park District for their enthusiasm and commitment to produce quality games for seniors.
This addition is also a high water mark for our organization. With North Dakota back in the fold, NSGA now has Member Games in every state, plus the District of Columbia, Canada Games (Province of Quebec) and the National Veterans Golden Age Games as official qualifiers for the biennial National Senior Games. With 53 ways to get there across the map, NSGA has never been stronger!
NSGA Forms Partnership with American Council on Exercise
"How do I get started?" "Who can help me?" These are commonly heard questions from people who are ready to learn or return to a sport and get involved in Senior Games.
NSGA is excited to announce a partnership with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) that will share the mutual mission to promote health and wellness for all Americans age 50 and over, and to help provide meaningful information and resources to answer those questions. The goals of the partnership are to:
  • Increase access for NSGA members and participants to science-based health and fitness resources.
  • Increase access for NSGA members to ACE certified professionals for group and personalized fitness programs.
  • Develop well-qualified fitness leaders age 50 and over capable of providing leadership and expertise for senior athletes and non-athletes.
  • Increase NSGA's impact in underserved communities and populations that aren't well represented in current NSGA activities.
ACE is a nonprofit organization committed to get people moving and fight the dual epidemics of obesity and inactivity, and creating a culture of health that values and supports physically active lifestyles. It has content to provide specific guidance for self-help, as well as resources to certified health and fitness professionals with expertise in the area of physical activity and health behavior change.
Watch for an exciting announcement soon that will put the partnership into action!
Website Upgrade Notice is undergoing some enhancements and upgrades that will make the website more attractive, easier to use and search, and to be more mobile-friendly.  Please note that the website will undergo these improvements between Friday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 3. If you visit during this time you may not find everything normally displayed due to the work being done behind the scenes. We are excited about these improvements and will share more in the next newsletter. Thanks!

Game On!
2017 Venue Snapshot: Racquetball at UAB
Racquetball competitors will enjoy having their games in the Campus Recreation Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The 150,000 square foot facility provides a wide array of fitness and recreation opportunities for the 17,000 students, staff and faculty at the downtown campus.
Located only minutes from the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex that will serve as the hub of The Games, the UAB Campus Recreation Center, built in 2005, features five racquetball courts among its facility offerings.  Because of their quality and the convenient downtown location, UAB's Campus Recreation Center was the ideal venue for our racquetball competition.
What Mental Floss Wants You to Know
about Birmingham  
The quirky magazine and popular blog, Mental Floss, recently presented a piece titled "25 Things You Should Know About Birmingham, Alabama."  It is chocked full of interesting tidbits and trivia about the city that's drawn from its history and its current status. 
Among the things we should know are that Vulcan's broad backside moons the suburb of Homewood and that Charles Barkley, Emmylou Harris, Courtney Cox and rapper Gucci Mane were all born here. We're further told that Birmingham transplant Mary Anderson invented and patented the windshield wiper in 1903 and that good-hearted prostitute Louise Wooster helped nurse the town back to health during the 1873 cholera epidemic.
Final Qualifying Games, Including Another Chance in California
You don't want to miss the 30th anniversary celebrations at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Birmingham next June! Qualifying Member Games still open for registration in October are continuing events in Arkansas, Canada, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, Oklahoma and Vermont. New games in following months are in Hawaii and Florida, and note that California will offer the Encore Games in the Bay Area as a second open qualifying event in November.
Check the specifics for the sport event(s) you are interested in today by following the link below to find each state's web and contact information. 

HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
Hot On the Trail
Just about anyone who golfs has a bucket list of courses they hope to play while they chase the little white ball and ponder life. There are dozens of individual dream courses such as Pebble Beach, Pinehurst and TPC Sawgrass, but one name on many lists represents a collection of 26 championship courses at 11 locations that span the state of Alabama - The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
John Younce, who has competed in six National Senior Games and picked up gold medals for his effort in 2011 and again last year in Minnesota, has circled the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana on his calendar since the host city was named.
"There are so many great courses and a lot of good golf down there," the Kentuckian says. "The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a Mecca, and I expect there will probably be a lot of athletes who will stick around and play a few of them."
Prior to his senior golf career, the retired school superintendent and educator is most proud for coaching his high school football team, and two American League youth baseball teams, to state championships. After his sons grew up, John decided to pick up his golf clubs again and enjoyed playing rounds with them. He read about a senior golf tournament, got involved and then learned about qualifying to compete in the National Senior Games. He worked at his game, even devising a driving range in his Eastern Kentucky backyard to practice, despite the rolling eyes of his wife.
"My first was in Pittsburgh in 2005, and I've been fortunate enough to qualify since then," he states. While John has racked up a number of other age group tournaments throughout the Midwest and South, and is ranked in NSGA top ten all-time scratch golf scores in two age divisions, he is not boastful about his accomplishments. "Golf is the hardest game I have ever participated in to become good at. These guys come from all of the states, so it was a thrill to win the first gold in Houston," he says. "And when I won the second one, I mean, it's just kind of unbelievable."
The enduring benefit beyond keeping himself fit is the social connections established from traveling around the country to compete with his peers. "I've made some good friends along the way. It's great to come together and share stories with these guys," he notes. "I'm very competitive, but I like to have fun and enjoy the company. I don't get mad or throw clubs around, that's not what it's about."
To say John is anxious to get to The Games in the Heart of Dixie next June is an understatement. "As a matter of fact, the son of a friend of mine is a golf pro in Birmingham, and we just went down there and actually played Oxmoor Valley and Ross Bridges, which are both on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail," he says. "I took some pictures in anticipation that they might be where the competitions will be." John's intuition was on target: Oxmoor Valley will indeed be one of the three courses used for national play.

Senior Health and Wellness
Sportingly Yours: NSGA Personal Best VisitsWisconsin
NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker and Communications and Media Director Del Moon visited the 2016 Wisconsin Senior Olympics in Milwaukee on Sept. 10 to present a Personal Best Award to 85-year-old Don Hoeppner, who is described in our profile feature as "a man who never met a sport he didn't like."

In the photo, Hoeppner is congratulated by Riker, flanked by Wisconsin Senior Olympics President John White (left) and Executive Director Mollie Bartelt. "Don has always stayed active and been involved in sports, which is reflected in the excellent quality of life he continues to enjoy," Riker told a gathering of 125 before the WSO swimming competition began. "He inspires others of all ages to become more active to improve their own lives."

Read Don's Personal Best story here, and visit the Personal BestPage at for our tour blog with more details and photos of other athletes we encountered at swimming, shuffleboard and table tennis play.
President's Council Celebrates Six Decades with #0to60 Campaign
In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, NSGA will assist our partner and the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition for the #0to60 Campaign. Announced in May, #0to60 is a national public engagement campaign to inspire all Americans to accelerate their journey to leading a healthy, active lifestyle.
In coming months, NSGA will share graphics and information in our social media about the campaign, including their website ( and a new #0to60 App dedicated to encouraging Americans of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to be healthy and active.
The Council has also produced a humorous "History of Exercise" video featuring the First Lady and comedic actor Nick Offerman. The video showcases the evolution of the fitness industry over the last six decades and underscores the fact that, while exercise routines may have changed over the years, the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles has remained the same. 

What's Your Favorite Memory from National Senior Games?
What's Your Favorite Memory of The Games?
Tell us about that special moment, from funny to inspirational, about 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 even attach a photo to go with your story.
"30 Health and Fitness Secrets of Senior Athletes"
Thanks for all of your entries! We have received some great tips, but there's still a little time to give us yours. The top 30 selected athlete "secrets" will be shared with national media in January 2017. It can be an inspiration or motivational saying, or pithy advice about exercise, nutrition, keeping mentally active, or staying motivated. The wittier, the better! Hurry, send yours in now!

NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Always in Season
Fall is just around the corner, and wearables featuring NSGA or the 2017 National Senior Games logo are always in fashion. NSGA gear with 2017 logo and other motivational images are available on our online store. When you the link below, simply click on either NSGA or 2017 images to the various apparel types. Then click "Personalize" to position and add the artwork you want onto your selection. Get started today!
"Senior Strider" October Athlete of the Month
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Athlete of the Month
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Athlete of the Month
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News and Events
Press Releases
Track & Field elite Kathy Bergen leads the way with eight high marks ALBUQUERQUE, NM, June 25, 2019 - As the 2019 National Senior Games ...