NSGA Stays Connected at TEAMS Conference
NSGA staff attended the TEAMS Conference the week of November 9th. TEAMS attracts more than 1,400 attendees including CEOs, executive directors, and event managers from sports organizations as well as representatives from sports commissions and convention bureaus, corporate sponsors, event suppliers and other hospitality industry opinion leaders.
NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker had the chance to meet with representatives working with us for the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana being hosted by Birmingham, Alabama. Conversation quickly turned to our shared excitement to celebrate the 30th anniversary of National Senior Games in 2017. We asked a friend from the 20th anniversary games in Louisville, Kentucky to join in the chat.
Shown above is David Galbaugh, Director of Sports Sales and Marketing, Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau; Tonia Whatley, National Sports Marketing Sales Manager, Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau; Greg Fante, Vice President of Sports Development, Louisville Sports Commission; Riker, and Sue Hlavacek, NSGA Director of Events and Programs.
We have some interesting things in store around the 30th celebration as our Member Games gear up for the 2016 qualifying year. We are seeking to engage everyone who has participated in The Games and in coming months will have ways for athletes to contribute their stories, images and thoughts of appreciation. Stay tuned!
Memories of The Games in Minnesota
Ford Roberson and partner Pat Murphy work up a sweat in men’s doubles 60-64 pickleball competition.
Cyclists lean into a turn in the 20K race.
Rinaldo Stolfo (left), 84, kisses Sue Garnier on the cheek with Bob Henry, 92, during table tennis competition.
Asiph Wilbur cheers on her grandmother, Georgia Schonher for her women’s 70-74 hammer throw event.
Kathy Sowers and the Ohio Cardinals thank the California Rockers on their way to capturing gold in the women’s 60+ softball competition.
NOVA United Classic’s Jeanni Winston,79 (left) and Fredde Jackson,70 embrace during women’s 70+ basketball competition. “I love watching their age group play. They’re my inspiration,” he said. Jackson competed with the Detroit Metro 65+ team in men’s play.
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
Swimming With Piranhas
For Rosemary Sexton, returning home to Kingsport, Tennessee with two swimming medals from the 2015 National Senior Games presented by Humana “was right up there with my wildest expectations considering the level of competition.” She had only started training a few years ago, but her efforts resulted with a bronze medal in the 200 meter individual medley, and a silver medal in the 100 meter butterfly in the women’s 65-69 division.
The main reason she credits for her success? She swims with Piranhas.
The Kingsport Piranhas is a swim team program composed of pre-teens and teens. Four to five times a week, Rosemary joins them after work for 90 minute workouts. “I saw an ad in the paper, called the coach and asked if there was an age limit to join,” she recalls. “He told me no one had ever asked before, but I could give it a try. I’m sure he thought I would go away.”
She didn’t, and it’s been a positive experience for everyone. “At first, I was an anomaly, but now it doesn’t seem unusual that Miss Rosemary is in the pool,” she observes. “It’s humbling because I always finish dead last. But put me in a pool with people my age and I’m pretty decent now. It’s training with the Piranhas that has me holding my own in Senior Games.”
Prior to age 31, Rosemary says she had never done anything athletic, had a junk food diet and was smoking up to two packs of cigarettes a day. “I literally had an epiphany and realized something had to change.” Knowing she would gain weight after quitting smoking, she struggled to keep jogging and started doing 5Ks as motivation. “Competition gave me a reason to do it – I need that carrot hanging in front of me to be motivated to keep training.”
From there she tried distance running, completed a marathon, and was then introduced to the triathlon by a friend. In her 40s, she discovered race walking. “I had a natural ability for it and won some National medals,” she says. “The minute I turned 50, I qualified and competed in the National Senior Games in Hampton Roads.” However, ten years into the sport she tore the metatarsal arch on her left foot. That’s when Rosemary thought about getting back in the pool and found the Piranhas. “I just don’t stop. I find something else to do.”
There is now a masters swimming group in town, but although Rosemary enjoys the camaraderie of senior competition, she prefers the intensity of working out with youngsters. “They push me. The workouts are challenging,” she notes. “It’s also the greatest thing to be friends with these kids while I’m honing my swim skills. I’m not an authority figure. I’m not their teacher, I’m not their coach, I’m not their mother. I’m just somebody they swim with, so we have this very unique relationship.”
In 2014, Rosemary found she had a 99% blockage in her right coronary artery, but it did not stop her. “I am now the proud owner of two stainless steel stents, but I was back in the pool after one week. I’m certain it would have killed me if I hadn’t been in the condition I am in. Swimming literally saved my life.”
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
Top 10 Holiday Diet Tips from WebMD Experts
Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions and spread good cheer. They also bring lots of opportunities for socializing, eating, and drinking. Even the most disciplined people struggle with temptation during the holiday season.
To navigate the party landmines with your healthy diet intact, you need a strategy. Experts agree: Having a plan in place will help you handle night after night of eating and drinking.
To help you survive the seasonal parties without packing on the pounds, WebMD consulted diet gurus across the country for their best holiday diet tips. Some you may know, others may be new and helpful for managing the festive holiday season. Please follow the link below for their top 10 recommendations.
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Holiday Gifts from The NSGA Store Offer Warm Memories
It’s the holiday season and you need to stay warm while you continue working out. There’s still time to treat yourself. How about a tie-dyed 50/50 Heavy Hoodie with the logo of the 2015 National Senior Games presented by Humana? You can also get it in a more traditional style and color. There are windbreakers and long sleeve t shirt options for winter wear too. You can also choose an NSGA logo and custom print by selecting from a number of other available graphics.
The time is now to visit The NSGA Store at www.NSGA.com to get yours. Better yet, share the link and drop some overt hints with the family about what a great gift a custom shirt or jacket would be to recall those warm days you enjoyed in Minnesota!