Get Ready for the Next “Steps To Well-Being” Challenge!
It’s said the third time is the charm. After two successful and fun step challenges in 2020, it’s time to get ready for NSGA’s third virtual competition that features YOU and others from your state competing for bragging rights while keeping yourself fit! StepsToWELL-Being allows you to join a team and/or participate individually. In ad
dition, the names of all participants are eligible for selection from a prize drawing every Friday. Also, the Wellness Score feature now allows you the option to accumulate wellness points.
Make a note for the National Senior Games StepsToWELL-Being Challenge, which will begin March 15 and run through April 12. Registration is now open, and anyone any age can join at no cost, not just athletes. If you have already participated, you are in the system and ready to log in to enter your data. Participants record all types of physical activity with the goal of obtaining the highest number of average steps for state Senior Games/partner organization and/or themselves.
If you are new to this, you can set up your profile now to be ready for the starting gun. Click Here to create a user profile, and when asked “Which Group Do You Belong To” from the drop down menu, choose OYOH Physical Activity New Registration. Use the password seniorgames to complete your registration. Click Here for detailed sample directions on how to sign up, record activity and synchronize your fitness-tracking device.
Step it up and #StayFitSeniors!
2022 General Competition Schedule Now Available
We are pleased to release the General Competition Schedule for the 2022 National Senior Games presented by Humana, now scheduled for May 10-23, 2022 in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
The General Schedule provides the overall date blocks for 22 sports that will comprise the 2022 Games. An Age Specific Competition Schedule will take more time to complete. “We know how important it is to make this information known as early as possible,” NSGA Director of Events and Programs Sue Hlavacek explained.
Schedule is subject to change. Keep watching this newsletter and NSGA.com for more event details and exciting news as we introduce venues and feature Greater Fort Lauderdale attractions!
Extended Qualifying Brings More Opportunity
With the new year comes hope that the pandemic will be brought under control in the near future. That means Senior Games athletes are already getting ready to tune up and get back into The Games!
In the past few days, qualified athletes were sent an email with information to help explain the extended qualifying period and the amended qualifying process that resulted from the pandemic interruption. Find Rule Book and Qualifying information here.
“We’re pleased that the amended changes we shared have been largely understood by our athletes,” said Carrie Fehringer, Director of Athlete Relations. “We expect to receive questions whenever we release information like this, so it’s good that we communicated this well enough that most got the information they needed about qualifying.”
The two most common questions received have easy answers, she added. “The extended qualifying opportunities this year do not invalidate or replace any previous ones, nor does it change any results. We’ve also had questions about what age group to compete in at the National Games, and that will be based on your age at the end of 2022 and not your age when you qualified.” She added that National Senior Games registration dates are being determined and will be announced in the near future.
Even though you may be qualified, it does not keep you in competition shape. The 2021 State Senior Games will help you to re-engage both socially and competitively with your peers while you gain more competition experience. You can also qualify for additional sports/events or even try a new sport.
NSGA, and each of its affiliated Member Games, are closely monitoring conditions in their area and working on how and when they will be able to offer their 2021 Games. Each state will communicate directly with their past participants, and the State Information Page has contact information with Games dates and links that are updated as soon as we receive notification. Good luck, everyone!
February Athlete of the Month
Out of Africa…with a Paddle
Esther Lamptey, 58, Midwest City, Oklahoma
There are many paths people take to find National Senior Games, but not many can say they came from another continent.
Esther Lamptey started playing table tennis, a very popular sport in Africa, while growing up in the country of Ghana. She was fortunate to train for a decade with D. G. Hathramani, an elite player from India who is credited with Ghana’s surge in the sport in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Esther’s hard work paid off when, at 18, she won the women’s singles title in 1980 at the African Championships in Dakar.
Table tennis became a central part of her life. “My job was as Chief Inspector for the Ghana Police Service, so I played on the police team and coached them as well.” Esther continued to compete and has also been an international umpire for the sport, most recently for the 2019 Junior and Cadet Open in Ghana.
In 2016, Esther retired from her job and moved to Midwest City, Oklahoma to be close to her daughter Dorcas. “Her father brought her here at age nine,” she explains. “When she came of age, she became a citizen and filed to bring me over. She’s now 32 and doing her medical residency in Arkansas.”
Esther found the Oklahoma City Table Tennis Club and helps coach and officiate in addition to playing. That led to the Oklahoma Senior Games in 2016. She was thrilled to win the state games in singles and doubles with her partner Linda Piatt and to have a celebrated debut at the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana with a Silver medal earned in the highly competitive W55-59 singles play.
“I enjoy all types, but playing singles is my favorite,” she says. “I’m the boss. I know how my opponent will return and what to do next. It’s more difficult with doubles.”
Esther is grateful she can continue playing in Senior Games as she ages. “I compete to travel and make friends and not for winning as much anymore,” she observes. “Friendship is No. 1 now. Winning comes second to friendship and traveling to new places.”
After coming to Oklahoma, Esther earned certifications to work as a nursing assistant and is well-liked by residents and staff in a nursing home environment. “People don’t believe my age when I tell them,” she laughs. “I’m so proud to use my example to help others, especially in the nursing home, both with residents and others. I try to motivate them, to use the little bit of knowledge I have in my sport to help them to get up. I’m a coach and I have to encourage my athletes, so I use my knowledge and skills from that on others too.”
“It has made me so popular,” she continues with another laugh. “Everybody there knows Esther and wants me to work in their hall.” She’s trying to get a sport table for the facility, not only to provide recreation for those able to do it, but she also wants to bring in players to have exhibitions for the residents.
“Working in medicine, I see people younger than me who can’t move or do anything,” Lamptey said. “But if they were involved in table tennis, or another sport, it wouldn’t be that way. That’s why I’ll keep playing as long as I can.”
Got a great story to share about yourself or an athlete you admire? We want to hear from you! To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete, Please Click Here.
Senior Health and Wellness
Keep Yourself and Others Safe Through COVID Fatigue
As we enter year two of the Coronavirus pandemic, many long for a return to the way we were prior to the pandemic. The recent vaccines are providing light at the end of the tunnel and inspiring hope for an end to the era of COVID-19.
However, there is no way to ensure you have zero risks of infection, so it is important that we continue to be as safe as possible, especially individuals with underlying medical conditions. That’s why we recommend using the new CV19 CheckUp tool to help you clearly assess what you can control to stay safe—and keep your loved ones safe—until we are vaccinated. In addition, completing a CV19 CheckUp promotes a feeling of personal empowerment.
The team that developed the CV19 CheckUp realized that it was important to get to the personal aspect of overwhelming COVID-19 statistics. They learned that most people don’t accurately understand their specific risk factors, and that knowledge and insights gained from the CV19 CheckUp helps people stay safer—and save lives by pointing to actionable steps that can be taken.
For example, did you know that compared to younger adults, people over 65 are 90 times more likely to die if they get Covid-19, people over 75 are 220 times more likely to die, and people over 85 are 630 times more likely to die. These numbers represent a significant exponential risk and a stark reminder of the importance to correctly assess our own behaviors and take power over our safety until we are all safe from the pandemic.
NSGA is excited to collaborate with the team that created the CV19 CheckUp, a free, simple, confidential, and online resource that you can use to understand your personal risk factors for contracting COVID-19, spreading it to your loved ones, and even your risk factor for hospitalization or death from the coronavirus if you contracted it.
The CV19 CheckUp does not stop there. This no-cost, confidential online resource provides an individualized report for every user that details how you can take steps to reduce your own risk and your risk to others. It also helps to connect you with community resources if you need additional help.
Take action by going to www.cv19checkup.org to have a clearer understanding of how to protect yourself and those close to you. Use this resource to help keep you and your loved ones safe until we can all meet again at the National Senior Games presented by Humana, coming to Greater Fort Lauderdale from May 10-23, 2022.
This article was prepared by Autumn Campbell, CV19 CheckUp Education Campaign Director, and Andrew Walker, MPH, NSGA Health and Wellness Director
NSGA Board Chair Rolls Up His Sleeve
Jack Shinnock helps the NSGA Board dive deep to find answers and solutions.
Jack Shinnock of Ohio is not only NSGA’s current Board of Directors Chair, he is also an active hiker, golfer, scuba diver, and more recently a Senior Games Power Walk competitor. “I think it’s beneficial to have athletes’ voices at the table as part of our deliberations for NSGA,” he said.
When he was able to get the first COVID vaccination shot recently, Jack wanted to use his voice to encourage Senior Games peers to also be protected when it is available for them, and not just to help The Games return. “We should get vaccinated for the health of our society,” he explained. “The side benefit is that we will be more comfortable to gather in groups and compete, but the broader issue is for society to get back on track.”
Thanks for your leadership during these challenging times, Jack!
How To Cultivate a Positive Mindset in the Face of Adversity
From KOHLER® Walk-In Bath
When adversity strikes—such as a global pandemic or a postponed event—for many of us, our first reaction is sadness or anger. Feelings of despair or loss may creep in and make us feel hopeless. But just like training for a sporting event, there are ways to cultivate positivity through practice and determination, even when we feel low.
Here are four ways to shift your mindset to a more positive outlook in times of adversity:
1. Create a “Wins” Checklist
Jotting down all of your accomplishments and achievements on paper can provide you with a sense of progress. Start a daily log of all the accomplishments you are proud of so you can track the progress you make. By honoring the small wins, you’ll attract positive energy today and every day.
2. Examine Mindsets of People You Admire
You look up to your heroes for a reason—maybe they are generous, or smart, or ambitious. Whatever you admire them for, chances are they all have something in common: their ability to overcome adversity. Consider what qualities your heroes possess that shaped them so you can model your own thoughts and attitudes.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Simply put, mindfulness is the practice of staying actively present and aware of your body, mind and feelings. Many people report this form of meditation helps to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep and reduce anxiety and depression. Apps like Calm, The Mindfulness App and Headspace offer guided meditations and tips on mindfulness for beginners to experts.
4. Take A Warm Bath
Soaking in a warm bath after a long day is the ultimate pampering session. This calming activity delivers many health benefits, including improved sleep, reduced stress and increased circulation. Add relaxing music, soothing essential oils, or therapeutic Epsom salt to bring extra positive energy into your bathing experience.