By Andrew Walker, MPH; NSGA Director of Health & Well-Being
As we enter the seasons of gratitude and giving, I think of National Senior Games athletes who give of themselves in service and competition.
The Senior Games go beyond a single competition and are an important part of many athletes’ broader lives. The reach of the NSGA’s mission is amplified tenfold through the passion of our participants.
Some write about their athletic pursuits, create art and are even the subject of sport and cultural documentaries. Some are Senior Games Ambassadors or volunteer their time to produce local sporting competitions. They invite friends to get active and coach those who are picking up a new sport.
Others serve on philanthropic boards, like swimmers DeEtte Sauer and Herman Kelly who work with the Humana Foundation’s newly-created Senior Council. Some forge new paths, like cyclist Simeon Gipson who rode from Oklahoma to Pittsburgh ahead of the 2023 National Senior Games presented by Humana to spread a message of the benefits of healthy living.
To every participant – thank you for being you. You are The Games!
We recognize our military veterans, Olympians and Paralympians, while also paying homage to the pioneering women of the Senior Games who grew up in a pre-Title IX world with limited sporting opportunities. Today, almost equal numbers of male and female athletes compete in the National Senior Games.
We honor the athletes who keep moving, no matter what physical challenge may arise. We are proud of those who found fitness through sports during the second act of life, especially competitors who were denied access to sports because of their gender, race or ability. You are now giving voice to sports equity through movement and action.
Simply put, Senior Games athletes challenge ageism and all its stereotypes in their communities and far beyond. You live out the international vision of the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021–2030), which aims to give everyone the opportunity to add life to years, wherever they live.
You are The Games, and we thank you for all that you do. Because of you, I believe that this will also be the Decade of Aging Well with the National Senior Games.
“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” (Giving Tuesday)