The 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana is nominated for “Best Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event” in the 2014 SportsTravel Awards poll hosted by prestigious SportsTravel Magazine.
The SportsTravel Awards recognize excellence in the organization and management of sporting events at the amateur, collegiate and professional levels. They also recognize the cities and venues that host superior events. Award winners will be announced in November at the TEAMS ’14 Conference in Las Vegas.
Please follow the link to cast your vote, and feel free to share the opportunity with others. We are listed as “2013 National Senior Games, Cleveland OH” under the Amateur Sporting Event category. Only one vote per email address. You do not need to vote in every category.
NSGA Visits Minnesota Senior Game, Applauds Growth
This month, NSGA converged on Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Paul for planning meetings and to congratulate the organizers of the Minnesota Senior Games for this year’s explosive growth in the number of registered athletes. Their qualifying games, held August 1-9, topped the 1,500 athlete mark, which is more than four times the number of participants in 2013.
At the kickoff event, held at the field house of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker noted “this is a clear indication that the word has gotten out around Minnesota about the opportunity to participate in the National Senior Games being hosted here next July. It’s a testimony to the good job the local host organization is doing to build awareness and pride that Minnesota will be hosting something special next year.”
The kickoff event also allowed us to publicly recognize our Personal Best athlete Ruby Rott of St. Paul. “Ruby was first given her award in April during the NSGA Annual Conference in Minneapolis, but we wanted her Minnesota athlete peers to hear her story and to inspire them to promote fitness to their friends and neighbors,” Riker said. Read her athlete profile on the Personal Best Page.
To see photos from our week in Minnesota and to keep up with other NSGA news, please visit and “Like” our “National Senior Games” page on Facebook.
2015 Demonstration Sports Info Now Available
We’re pleased to now be able to share information about the three demonstration sports that will be offered at National Senior Games in Minnesota next year-Baseball, Disc Golf and Judo.
Visit the link below for the latest sport information.
Demonstration Sports Information Page
2015 Venue Snapshot: Bowling
This month we roll out to Bloomington to preview the bowling venue for the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. AMF Southtown Lanes is a modern, well-maintained non-smoking facility featuring 48 lanes. It also has four ramps to host the non-ambulatory bowling competition we have added for the 2015 Games.
AMF Southtown Lanes offers all of the amenities you expect to find in a great bowling center- clean restrooms, game arcade, food service and a separate bar where you can relax and watch your favorite sports on flat screen TVs. And the world famous Mall of America is a few short minutes away. Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Paul are offering their best venues for you!
Reminder: State Qualifying Games in September and October
September will have games starting or continuing in AR, DE, GA, IL, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, NV, NJ, NM, NC, SD, VT and WI. October’s calendar offers competition in DE, KS, LA, ME, NV, NM and UT.
As you know, some games are spread over two or more weekends, and a few are only open to in-state residents, so visit our State Information page to search for event and sports details and registration links for the state(s) you are interested in. Find the state icon, click and GO!
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
You Gotta Have Heart(s)
Listening to JJ Jones tell his story, it’s hard not to start humming “You Gotta Have Heart” from the popular musical Damn Yankees. That’s because he continues to swing a bat after not one but two heart transplants.
The Kansas native spent much of his childhood in California, where he fell in love with baseball and played from little league through high school. As often happens, entering the working world interrupted his sporting life as JJ moved home to Kansas and began a career as a hardwood lumber grader. But his heart brought him back to the diamond.
When I was 27 I joined a fast pitch softball team, and later moved to slow pitch play until I had my first heart attack at 39,” he recalls. “My father died at 41 from a heart condition, and my mother, brother and sister have had heart issues. So the doctors advised me against playing ball. That was in 1985 and I didn’t get back to it until I was 60 and got my first heart transplant in 2006.
JJ “kinda hung around” for a year until he literally saw a sign. “I was going to visit my son in Raytown, Missouri and I saw what looked like one of those little political signs that said ‘Senior Softball’ with a phone number. The doctor said it was fine to do whatever I could do, so I called up and they got me going right away. I’ve been on one team or another ever since.” He has competed with his Ageless Wonders senior softball team for Senior Games in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.
He finally made it to the National Senior Games in 2013, but not before he had to clear another hurdle. I’ve only missed a couple of games of senior ball, but the one I remember missing most was on October 12, 2010 when I got the call from St. Luke’s Transplant Clinic to come in for my second transplant. The first one had been failing, so I consider myself blessed that the second one became available,” he says. “In April of 2011 I was back out playing ball again.
JJ makes the most of his opportunity, playing shortstop and second base with occasional nods to take the pitching mound. “It’s the biggest part of my life right now. I play every chance I get and my wife comes with me and enjoys it. The camaraderie with the new friends I’ve made is great. These guys are all like me- they love the sport and refuse to give it up.”
My doctors insist that I continue playing. It helps me both physically and mentally,” he adds. “And I’ve been able to occasionally do some mentoring with other transplant patients. It helps for them to see somebody who has gotten through and is active again.”
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
New Blog From “The Doc Who Walks The Talk”
We’ve previously introduced you to Dr. Pamela Peeke, an internationally recognized expert, physician, scientist and best-selling author in the fields of nutrition, stress, fitness and public health.
This year, Dr. Peeke became a Trustee of the NSGA Foundation and a national spokesperson for NSGA. She calls herself “the Doc who walks the talk” and is proving it by training and qualifying to compete in Triathlon next July at the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana.
Dr. Peeke has created a blog to document her journey and to share thoughts about The Games, its incredible athletes, and matters related to senior health and fitness. Follow along and be informed, inspired and entertained!
Dr. Peeke’s Senior Games Blog
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Gettin’ Fit for 2015 T-Shirt
Now is the time to order the first T shirt featuring the logo for the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. Get one to wear for luck if you haven’t qualified yet, or buy one to celebrate and show everyone where your plans are set for next July in Minnesota!
Of course you can always select NSGA images to place on a high quality tee shirt, hat, windbreaker, hoodie or long sleeve tee shirt in your choice of color and graphic.
Visit The NSGA Store at NSGA.com to get yours.