September Brings Falls Prevention Awareness
Each year NSGA partners with the National Council on Aging to promote Falls Prevention Awareness Week. Falls are the leading cause of major injury and death in older adults, but most falls are preventable. It also takes a team effort to help reduce risks, including family, neighbors, medical and emergency support services.
We participate in the campaign because we have important information to share. NSGA’s ongoing Senior Athlete Fitness Exam research reveals that highly-active seniors experience a fall only one-third as often as their age peers, and that 90% of those falls did not require medical attention. Our message is clear: Keep moving to reduce your risk of falls. Take the quick and easy Falls Free Checkup to learn about your risks. Share it with your friends in September!
2023 General Competition Schedule Released; Softball Move Announced
We are pleased to release the General Competition Schedule for the 21 sports that will make up the 2023 National Senior Games presented by Humana. The general schedule provides the overall date blocks for sports; an Age Specific Competition Schedule will be made available at a later date. Click Here to view the General Competition Schedule.
NSGA and the Pittsburgh Local Organizing Committee also announced they will partner with the city of Columbus, Ohio, to host the National Senior Games’ Softball competition at Lou Berliner Sports Park in Columbus from May 3-8, 2023. Past Softball participants are being provided more information and details by email.
Schedules are subject to change. Keep following this newsletter and your Sport Webpage at NSGA.com in coming months for more sport and venue details!
2023 Pittsburgh Housing Link is Now Open!
Along with the general schedule release, we have opened our online Hotels and Lodging link for athletes to search and book rooms from a special block of participating hotels that provide us with lowest available rates. Team
Travel Source (TTS) is our expert partner, and they have earned praise for their service and attention to participants. They promise lowest guaranteed rates and a smooth process and best rates to book individuals or groups.
There are many other benefits to booking in the NSGA block listed on the web page. There’s also a NEW incentive for 2023 – athletes who book rooms through TTS will be entered for a chance to win a Mediterranean Cruise* for two!
*Terms and conditions apply.
Qualifying Continues, but Not for Much Longer!
As the days draw shorter so does the time for you to qualify to compete in the 2023 National Senior Games presented by Humana. Opportunities are closing to register for NSGA Member Qualifying Games left on the 2022 calendar, so check out your options now and get signed up to earn your place next year!
NSGA maintains a State Information Webpage with a calendar and contacts for Member Games that is updated as soon as new details are submitted to us. You don’t qualify from having participated in the 2022 National Senior Games in Fort Lauderdale, so make your plans now!
The City of Champions is a Sports Travel Destination
Passionate fanbases, winning teams and beautiful stadiums are all huge reasons Wallet Hub proclaimed Pittsburgh a “Top Sports City” in the U.S. in 2021.
Aptly named the City of Champions, Pittsburgh is home to storied professional sports teams, including:
Pittsburgh Steelers – among the most decorated teams in the NFL and the first to have won six Super Bowls. Fans can be seen descending on the North Shore, waving Terrible Towels, to attend games at Acrisure Stadium.
Pittsburgh Penguins – one of the hottest tickets on ice. The team plays at PPG Paints Arena and has earned a league-best 16 consecutive trips to the postseason, winning three championships along the way.
Pittsburgh Pirates – bring baseball to PNC Park, consistently named one of the best ballparks in America, with a fantastic mix of classic aesthetics and modern comforts accompanied by an unmatched skyline view.
Even the city’s college teams are championship-caliber. The University of Pittsburgh can be seen playing at Acrisure Stadium for football and the Petersen Events Center for basketball. Together, these Pitt teams have amassed 11 National Championships, including the 2021 ACC Football Championship. Robert Morris University and Duquesne University round out the region’s NCAA Division I schools.
At Highmark Stadium, which includes a spectacular view of the city, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds take the pitch for the United Soccer League while the Pittsburgh Passion, the national championship-winning women’s full-contact football team, suit up for Women’s Football Alliance play.
The history of Pittsburgh sports teams’ winning ways is showcased at must-see museums and monuments, including:
- The Roberto Clemente Museum is dedicated to the life and career of the former Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player.
- The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum (located inside the Senator John Heinz History Center) brings the city’s top sports moments to life.
- The Immaculate Reception Monument on the North Shore celebrates 50 years of the greatest play in football history in 2021.
Learn more about sports travel in Pittsburgh at visitPITTSBURG.com.
Social Media – Are You Missing Out?
Grammy award winning rocker Jim Peterik says Senior Athletes have The Eye of the Tiger. He should know – he wrote that song for the movie Rocky III in 1982 and almost every athlete has had it on their exercise playlist. Jim graciously came out to our 2013 Personal Best event in Chicago to sing a few of his hits and to talk about the importance of staying fit and active.
If you follow NSGA’s social media, you saw videos of “Jimbo” singing Eye of the Tiger and expressing his thoughts and appreciation. If you don’t follow us, you are missing out on a lot of great content like this that you won’t find anywhere else – Games in the News media stories, motivational memes, Games memories, the popular “A Sunday Smile” weekly cartoon and much more!
Check out National Senior Games (Seniorgames1) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, and just scroll down to find the Jim Peterik posts. There is also one thing you can do to help us grow our social media – please please please LIKE the page and the posts that you enjoy, and feel free to share anything good you find on your own timeline with your friends. We are growing every month and you can help us reach more people by liking what you see. Thanks!
SEPTEMBER ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Lily Yip, 59
Dunellen, New Jersey
An Olympian “Pinging” It Forward
There was a buzz in the hall when Lily Yip stepped up to play table tennis at the 2022 National Senior Games presented by Humana. After all, it’s not every day you can watch an Olympian play.
The Chinese born ace always excelled at table tennis and started playing professionally in China at age 12. Lily came to the U.S. in 1987 and became a citizen in 1991. What followed was a Hall of Fame career as player, coach and tournament promoter with high points of competing on Team USA in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, winning four medals in three Pan American Games, and earning many U.S. National Table Tennis championships.
Two of those doubles wins were special because she was partnered with her son and her daughter for them. Lily is proud to have coached them to each become national champions before they were 17 years old. “Judy has since taken over managing my Lily Yip Table Tennis Center in New Jersey and I still coach with her,” she says. “Adam became a financial manager on Wall Street for a few years and then opened a ping pong club in Hoboken. You don’t make a lot of money with that, so he’s doing it for the passion. They are both happy and the exercise is good for them. That’s what counts.”
Helping others to learn and enjoy a game and gaining fitness is what motivates Lily now. “I kinda retired from playing since working with the U.S. Olympic team in 2016 so I could do more coaching. Then when I got past 50 my students started telling me I should go to Senior Games. My senior players wanted to go compete and urged me to come along.
“I had to help my students because it would motivate them to do better, and they might not go if I didn’t,” she recalls. Six of Lily’s students from New Jersey came to compete at The Games, and Lily was also able to visit her mother-in-law who lives in Boynton Beach near Fort Lauderdale.
Lily knew she would not meet as much competition as in the major internationals and USA Table Tennis events, but she was greatly impressed by the spirit and love of the game she witnessed. “Most of the athletes are amateurs and they don’t care as much about winning or losing. Everyone wants to win of course, but they are more relaxed and having fun.”
“For me, I’m getting older so it’s different,” she continues. “When you’re young you go to tournaments and really want to win something. Now for me it’s about health. It’s a good goal for me to continue to play a sport I have loved since I was a kid. And winning does make you feel good, right?”
The experience was so positive Lily is planning to return with her crew for the National Senior Games in Pittsburgh next summer. “It’s an inspiration for my students to see me go,” she adds. “I have been promoting the sport for the past 30 years. 99% of my friends play table tennis. It was good to go to see old friends and make new friends. When people come up to say hello it just makes you feel good.”
“Even though I’m getting older, my heart still feels young,” she concludes. “The 60-64 group better look out!”
SENIOR HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Are Senior Games Athletes Both Fit and Well?
Wellness looks at health on a continuum beyond just the absence of disease. Wellness is derived from our ability to understand, accept and act upon our capacity to lead a purpose-filled and engaged life. A wellness mindset asks us to embrace our potential (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, and vocational) to pursue and optimize life’s possibilities. Each of these seven dimensions of wellness are unique, yet they interact with each other in significant ways.
For instance, mental well-being affects sports performance. This has been made clearer to us recently in the sports of Olympic gymnastics, track and field, and professional tennis. Research like the Senior Athlete Fitness Exam (SAFE) shows that Senior Game athletes as a whole do better than their peers in two areas of wellness, the physical and mental. Preliminary data shows that Senior Game athletes have high quality of life indicators. And currently we are evaluating how well Senior Game athletes fared during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we do not know how participants in the Games are doing in all dimensions of wellness.
Consider how you are doing with your overall wellness by reflecting on the following statements.
- Emotional: Do you use strategies to cope with challenging emotions related to ageism through peer counseling, stress management, humor/laughter or stories of overcoming?
- Environmental: How often do you take time to intentionally connect with the natural environment by taking in urban parks, walking paths, forest bathing and community gardens?
- Intellectual/cognitive: Do you participate in activities where you learn skills, hobbies, new points of view or information?
- Social: Do your social interactions with family, friends, neighbors and chosen peer groups support well-being?
- Spiritual: Does your life activities help you renew your soul, gain perspective, have meaning, and give you purpose in this life?
- Vocational: Older adults can contribute to society as experienced mentors, teachers and volunteers. Gain well-being dividends by volunteering at your State Senior Games.
To help older adults better understand these dimensions of wellness, NSGA has created a theme page on the International Council of Active Aging (ICAA) website as part of International Active Aging Week being observed October 3-9 this year. The page shares an athlete story to highlight each one of the dimensions.
Of course, the athletes exhibit multiple dimensions due to how they are successfully aging. For example, swimmer Herman Kelly represents the spiritual dimension but also the vocational and intellectual. Herman’s parents made sure he learned how to swim in a time when African Americans were denied access to pools. He went on to swim on the Morehouse College team and is still swimming in Senior Games at the age of 67. Herman is also a professor and a minister and has created a ministry to teach African-Americans how to swim.
Find Herman’s and others’ examples on National Senior Games Theme Day page celebrating ICAA Active Aging Week.
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