“Hurricane Hawkins” Sets First 105+ Record!
Move over, William Shatner. Julia Hawkins has boldy gone where no woman has ever gone before to become the first woman and the first American to establish a 105+ age category world record in track and field!
Julia wanted to set this mark in her home state, which led to her historic run Nov. 6 at the Louisiana Senior Games. She could not have written the script better, since her first childhood home was located in Ponchatoula less than ten miles from the track complex at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. She also taught middle school in her town, and among the fans who showed up were five of her former students, all now in their late 80’s and 90’s.
Read the NSGA News story to learn more about Julia’s big day!
2022 Priority Registration Continues as Open Registration Begins December 14
While qualified athlete registration continues at a steady pace, a one-time open registration period will begin December 14 to accommodate athletes who could not qualify in 2020 or 2021.
“Required qualification is a unique and distinctive hallmark of our Games, but as with all other events, our entire network of 52 state and affiliate member games was impacted by the pandemic,” said NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker. “Offering open registration ensures that none of our past participants will be left out, and it’s also an opportunity for new athletes to compete who may not have heard about us.”
Under open registration, anyone age 50+ as of December 31, 2021 may enter any of the 22 sports being offered. The maximum number of registrants will be limited for certain sports and could reach capacity at any point during the process. All registrations close on March 1, 2022.
The Online Hotel Booking System is a Hit!
We’re happy to see that many athletes are taking advantage of the NSGA online booking system as they register. In fact, the response has been well ahead of pace for other recent Games. NSGA encourages you to utilize the system as soon as you register to have the best selections.
Please be advised that once the NSGA Group Contracted Inventory (NSGA Rates) is sold out, then the hotel’s best available rate will be offered. J Team Management and NSGA have no control of the best available rates being offered by the hotels. Please also note that hotels will only offer a certain percentage of their rooms at the discounted rate, and once those are sold out they will not give any more at the discounted rate.
The system allows you to easily locate participating properties closest to where your sport will be held with the lowest rates you will find!
HELPFUL REGISTRATION LINKS
- NSGA Hotels and Lodging Page – find guaranteed low-price rooms.
- NSGA Registration Webpage for registration dates, 2021 state results status, entry fees and deadlines.
- Competition Schedules Page with Age Specific Schedule (which provides dates for most events and age groups) as well as Golf Course Assignments, Racquetball Schedule, Track & Field Schedule and Swimming Order of Events.
2022 Venue Spotlight: Ansin Sports Complex is a Track and Field Jewel
It doesn’t get much better than Ansin Sports Complex, a 24-acre state of the art venue in Miramar that features FTX Mondo track identical to the 2008 Olympic track used in Beijing. The stadium has 5,000 plus seating capacity and features a 400 meter standard track with 8-Lane Oval/9 Lane Straightaways. All field events and a 200-meter practice track are all located within the complex.
Ansin Sports Complex is one of only four Class 2 internationally certified tracks in the United States and recently hosted an Olympic Qualifying event in April of 2021. It will be the perfect setting for National Senior Games action – so let’s go make some records!
Cultural Diversity Reflected in Diversity of Broward County Museums
A visit to Greater Fort Lauderdale is more than just a beach vacation, it is an opportunity for immersive activities that are cultural and educational.
The Museum of Discovery & Science features more than 300 interactive exhibits, plus a five-story IMAX 3D Theater. Climb into replica cockpit simulators of aerobatic and combat aircrafts, learn about animals in the Florida ecosystem, and enjoy the outdoor Science Park with giant full-body exhibits.
Peruse NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale whose 6,000-work permanent collection contains the largest group of paintings and drawings by American realist William Glackens, an extensive selection of Latin American and Cuban art, and an impressive roster of boldface names like Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo.
The first Caribbean heritage museum in the U.S., Island SPACE Caribbean Museum is one of the latest additions to the area’s thriving arts and culture scene. Also located in Plantation’s Westfield Broward Mall is Young At Art Museum’s YAA NOW Gallery. The gallery exhibits interactive art displays commissioned by acclaimed South Florida based artists.
The Wiener Museum celebrates the fired arts of ceramics and glass. Visitors can see beautiful pottery and porcelain art from the 18th century to the present day. The glass galleries showcase a spectacular collection of Chihuly, the art of French designer Renée Lalique, and Venetian maestros from Murano.
Whether you’re into art, history, culture or science, you’ll find the perfect museum to suit your interests in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
November Athlete of the Month
Formerly Homeless Man Gets His Life on Track
Tim Jenkins, 70, Louisville, KY
Tim Jenkins is in awe about how his life has turned around since he found Senior Games in 2018. At the time he had been homeless after decades of misfortune. “I was really homeless for most of my life,” he says. “Just because a house has four walls and a roof don’t make it a home.”
Tim grew up in a dysfunctional family. “No food. No toilet paper. No love except from my grandmother. My father deserted us at 14 after he had molested half of us. My first mentor molested me. I started doing acid (LSD) at 14. I only have a fourth-grade education, even though I got through eighth grade. I could not learn. I couldn’t even pass physical education.”
With limited education and skills, most of the work Tim could find was cash in hand jobs. His alcohol and drug use deepened (“I smoked crack from 1989 to 2010”) and he had given up hope. Then, when Tim’s roommate “got blown away” by a crack dealer he resolved to change his life. “After that, every time I got high, I felt God telling me I had been playing Russian Roulette with no bullets in the gun, but that I was now on my own.”
After being homeless for four years spanning five states, Tim heard about a tornado disaster in Alabama and moved there to volunteer to get himself back on track. He returned to Louisville and found a church that made him feel at home and encouraged his desire to minister to homeless people. “The Glory and Fire Worship Center in Fairdale supports me and really cares about the people that many others don’t,” he says emphatically.
Tim began weightlifting and bodybuilding. “But I thought I should be doing more than just flexing my muscles on a stage,” he recalls. “I prayed and asked God what can I do, and I felt Him say ‘Run’ deep down in my gut. I didn’t know what that meant.”
Then Tim learned about the Kentucky Senior Games and knew he had found his lane with track sprints. While still living out of his car, Tim started training himself and dropped 30 pounds. His 2018 debut yielded gold medals in both the 50- and 100-meter races. “The first time I ever heard a starting gun I set the Kentucky state record in the 50-meter race,” he says proudly.
Thanks to local help, Tim was given a small camper on a farm and gained a safe place to live. Having qualified, his next goal was to win a medal at the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque. Finding the money to go seemed impossible until he was selected to receive a “Hand Up From Humana” grant in 2019 based on a nomination by the Kentucky Senior Games.
The learning experience from Tim’s national competition confirmed that he has the tools to be successful with more experience. “I have tremendous heart, determination, spirt and natural physical skill, kinda like Jim Thorpe,” he states. “I’ve learned about breathing, how to come out of the blocks and stuff like that by trial and error. I’m still a rookie with only 12 races, but I know I can be good.”
Tim is fired up to compete and win medals next year in both the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships and at the 2022 National Senior Games presented by Humana. More importantly, he’s established a foundation and set goals to ensure he is never homeless again.
“I’ve survived long enough to learn enough, and now I see the big picture,” he says firmly. “I feel like God wants me to tell my story to help change the lives of people in trouble. I hope I can get more people into Senior Games too.”
What’s YOUR story? To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete, Please Click Here.
Health and Well-Being
Plan Now and Follow Key Principles to Compete Well in 2022
Are you ready for the 2022 National Senior Games presented by Humana next May? The key to performing well will be dependent on you having a consistent and effective training plan leading up to the marquee event. This is especially important for individuals who have had their training regime disrupted over the past year.
To be competition ready, it is important to not miss long periods of training due to injuries or illnesses. Training too often, or too long, or too hard usually results in peaking too soon, or worse, too much inconsistency. Stated simply, you must plan your work and work your plan.
Effective planning starts with the end in mind. Roy Benson, MPE, my former head track coach at the University of Florida and exercise specialist, notes that a key question to ask yourself is “What am I looking for in terms of performance at the end of my training program.” When you can define that, you can work backwards to ensure that the correct amount of time is available to allow you to make the best modifications to your training.
Although many athletes play themselves into shape, all Senior Games sports generally require a basic level of fitness. The fundamentals of being fit enough to be competitive and perform at your very best at Nationals requires three to five workouts a week. Planning to train well requires a look at the big picture of a training program, including basic fitness principles such as frequency, rest, intensity, progression and periodization.
Looking at training from the point of view of how one organizes their training program is called periodization. The time period of each of our overall training programs may vary by sport, but you can use six months with the Games taking place in May of 2022. During the first part of your overall training program the focus should be on building a strong endurance base, one that emphasizes lower intensity exercises that target muscle endurance and stamina.
It is important to keep the principle of progression in mind. After the initial twelve week period of building a foundation of endurance, you would want to progress to building other aspects of fitness important to performing your sport. Using running as example, this would be a good time to introduce speed work, hill work, and tempo runs which also increase intensity. As we monitor our progression over time to the final part of the program, your focus evolves to particulars like pacing, speed, power development and sport specific skills. At this point you are monitoring your progress and noting your body’s ability for effective recovery. This is where you want to see if you are improving on schedule as you work toward your goal of peak performance at your National Senior Games event.
Including these key principles into your training plan will make it more likely you will arrive in Greater Fort Lauderdale ready to go with your best chances for success. Good luck and get to work!
This article was prepared by Andrew Walker, MPH, NSGA Health and Well-being Director
Medicare For Health Maintenance
The training of the best athletes places foundational health first. This is especially important for Senior Games participants 65 and older, the largest segment of our athlete population. Receiving basic preventive care for health maintenance is key to foundational health.
Open Enrollment is your chance to review and compare your current Medicare coverage. Even if you’re happy with your current plan, it’s important to check for any changes next year, and compare with other available plan options.
Check out Humana’s options. Since 2007, the National Senior Games have been presented by Humana.
Health & Well-Being Partners
NSGA Sport Partners