Show Me State Hosts NSGA Personal Best Tour
The NSGA Personal Best Tour traveled to Columbia, MO on June 20 to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Missouri State Senior Games and to spotlight 65-year old Jane Kaiser of St. Louis. Kaiser keeps busy as a clinical nurse and speaker, and has won many medals and ribbons in senior competitions. She has enjoyed lifelong good health by following the advice she gives to others about proper nutrition, exercise and preventative health practices.
“At 65, Jane takes no medications and still pursues her career and an active lifestyle. She practices what she preaches,” NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker told the kickoff banquet crowd. “Jane gives us all an example by her actions on and off the field to inspire others to be active and live longer, better quality lives.”
“Living a healthy life is not a spectator sport,” Kaiser observed. “In order to live that life you must first choose to participate by being active and making good choices day to day.”
The following day we enjoyed watching competition at several sport venues. Our thanks to Ken Ash (seen above right with Riker and Kaiser), Dave Fox, Emily Lorenz and all of the great volunteers for their hospitality and for staging well organized games in the Show Me State.
Read Jane’s profile and an expanded tour blog of our visit on the Personal Best web page.
Personal Best Profiles and Tour Blog
“Team Post Shredded Wheat” Grant Winners Announced
Early this year, Post Shredded Wheat hosted an online contest with NSGA asking which sport should be added as a demonstration sport in the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. More than 1,800 fans across America voted from among five sports – judo, weightlifting, power walking, fencing or soccer – and judo came out on top. The demonstration sport will be featured in the 2015 Games to be held in Bloomington/Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota July 3-16, 2015. Post is traveling to several state games this year giving out prizes to athletes, promoting their sponsorship of judo, and showing support for the Senior Games Movement.
In addition, NSGA and Post also wanted a way to engage senior athletes in the promotion, so we also offered an athlete essay contest. Post awarded grants to several athletes over the age of 50 to compete as members of Team Post Shredded Wheat in their state qualifying Senior Games competition. More than 560 entries were submitted and winners were selected. Through the grant, Post Shredded Wheat will pay the winners’ entry fee, along with providing them active gear and heart-healthy cereal to help them achieve their athletic pursuits.
NSGA and Post congratulate the grant recipients!
2015 Venue Snapshot: Swimming
Last month we bragged on the great track and field venue at the University of St. Thomas. This month we take you to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for a few laps in the pool.
The University of Minnesota Aquatic Center features a 50 meter racing pool with an adjacent diving well. It has hosted more than five million participants since it was built in 1990. Locker room facilities are spacious, and there is a multiuse lobby area and plenty of spectator seating for visitor comfort and enjoyment of the action.
Get ready! Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Paul are offering their best for you at the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana.
2015 National Games Information
Non-Ambulatory Sports Promoted to Veterans
As previously noted, non-ambulatory sport divisions will be added for bowling, horseshoes and shuffleboard in the 2015 Games in Minnesota. Last week, NSGA board member Dewayne Vaughan attended the National Veterans Golden Age Games in Fayetteville, Arkansas to promote this new addition. Vaughan is a former director for these games, which are one of NSGA’s qualifying member events.
“I knew they have a large number of disabled participants, so I wanted to make sure they are aware of this new opportunity,” Vaughan said. “I was allowed to speak to the coaches on the first day, and it was exciting to get a positive response from both them and all of the athletes I spoke with during my visit.”
Vaughan also met with the director of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, who agreed to share information with their members. “I also enjoyed encouraging all of the able bodied athlete veterans to come to the National Senior Games and enjoy the unique experience they will find there,” he added.
“Who’s Next” for State Qualifying Games?
Time to make plans for state qualifying games opening in August, and you will find them in AK, DE, ID, ME, MD, MI, MN, NE, NH, NM, VT WI. The starting gun goes off in September in AR, DE, GA, IL, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, NV, NJ, NM, NC , SD, VT and WI. Whew!
Visit our State Information page to search for specific information and registration links for the state(s) you are interested in. Find the state icon, click and GO!
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
It was like old times when sisters Janet McDonough (on right in photo) and Patty Sweetall gave dominating swimming performances in Cleveland at the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. Janet, of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, earned four gold medals while breaking national records in the 55-59 age group in the 100-yard and 200-yard individual medley plus the 50-yard and 100-yard backstroke. Patty, who resides in Louisville, Kentucky, swam in the 50-54 age group. She victoriously broke records for the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events and earned silver in the 50-meter breaststroke.
“We started swimming competitively at a neighborhood pool in Pittsburgh when I was eight and she was six,” Janet recalls. “We swam together through high school, and on relays I swam backstroke and Patty did breaststroke.” The sister act continued as Janet earned a scholarship to the swim team at West Virginia University, and Patty followed when she completed high school. They shared two years of NCAA Division I collegiate competition and again teamed up on relays.
After college both took a break from swimming. Janet says 15 years of intense competition “kinda burned me out” so she moved to group fitness classes while Patty turned her sport passion to running. Janet got back in the water at 40, and after gradually building up her fitness she decided to try competing locally again seven years ago. She was delighted to find she still had winning ways. “When I learned of the National Senior Games from a swimming teammate, I went to the Pennsylvania games in 2012 to qualify and talked Patty into going to the Kentucky games,” she says. “She was hesitant at first, but she surrendered to big sister pressure.”
Patty, who works in one of Louisville YMCA’s Child Care areas, is grateful for the nudge. “We don’t see each other that much, and we had such a good time,” she says. “It was fun to see what I was capable of doing. What was nice is that I had no pressure on me.”
In 2015 both will be in the 55-59 age group, but Janet explains there won’t be a dramatic sibling rivalry in their competition. “The odd and funny thing is that we never swam the same events. I was always backstroke and individual medley (which is a little bit of everything) and shorter distance freestyle events. Patty is a hardcore, solid breaststroker who also does some longer distance freestyle. So we won’t be in the same events and can cheer each other on.”
Janet adds that the sister act heads to the FINA World Championships in Montreal in August with their grown daughters for a girls week of swimming and fun. “We’re both really happy the Senior Games got us competing together again. We can’t wait to go to Minnesota next year!”
We’re always looking for great athlete stories. Submit yours and read more athlete stories on our Athlete of the Month page at NSGA.com!
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Gettin’ Fit for 2015 T-Shirt Now Available
You can now 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 high quality merchandise in your choice of color and graphic(s).
Visit The NSGA Store at NSGA.com to get yours.
Senior Health and Wellness
Are You Protected From the Sun?
Dr. Vonda Wright has gained national prominence as an expert in active aging. Here’s her tips on sun protection:
Dr. Wright is an orthopedic surgeon, author and media contributor who offers helpful tips and information on a variety of topics. Find more at www.DrVondaWright.com