NSGA Dark                                            
The Long Run

National Senior Games Association

Official e-Newsletter 

2013 September Edition

In This Issue
Association News
Senior Health and Wellness
NSGA Merchandise
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our videos on YouTube

View our profile on LinkedIn



Welcome to the eighth issue of "The Long Run" monthly e-Newsletter.  We hope this will help keep our membership and partners up-to-date with NSGA association news, National Games updates, athlete features and health and wellness information. Be sure to check our website at www.NSGA.com for up-to-date information.

Association News

Sue Hlavacek Joins NSGA Staff

We are pleased to announce that Susan A. Hlavacek has accepted the position of Director of Events and Programs for the NSGA beginning October 1st.  Sue's experience, professionalism, and personality is a great addition to the NSGA Team.   


Hlavacek most recently served as the Director of Sports for the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana in Cleveland.  Prior to that, she served 15 years as Director of Athletics for Notre Dame College in Ohio. Her leadership was twice recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletic Administrators (NACWA) as Administrator of the Year in 2003 and 2010. She was also honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as a General Sports TURF Systems AD of the Year (ADOY) in 2004 and in 2010. Earlier in her career, she was a K-12 physical education teacher and coach in her native Cleveland. 


As a student athlete at Cleveland State University, Hlavacek lettered in each of her four years in both basketball and volleyball and was named Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year three separate years.  She also played professionally in the Women's Basketball League.


Welcome aboard Sue!


NSGA Board and Staff

Game On!
Dates for 2014 State and 2015 National Games in Minnesota Announced
The 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana will be hosted by Bloomington-Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota from July 3- 16, 2015. Time to make a note in your calendars- qualifying begins in a few short months!


The dates for the 2014 Minnesota Senior Games will be August 2-9, 2014. We know some athletes like to go to the state games when that qualifying event takes place in the same area where the Nationals will be held the next year. Bookmark http://www.mnseniorgames.com and check back later for details about 2014 registration, sports and lodging information.


Memories of the 2013 Games

Fay Dejoy pitches for the Virginia based Golden Girls womens softball team in the 60+ championship game.

(Will Clark/Brooks Institute)

Harold Rathjen, 88, of San Antonio,Texas delivers the ball in bowling competition hosted at Freeway Lanes in Wickcliff, Ohio. (Mischa Lopiano/Brooks Institute)


2013 Games Trivia

Do you know the Top 3 states that sent the most athletes this year?  You might be surprised! Besides Ohio (the "host state") had the most with 1,140, the top 3 states were:

  • Tennessee (684)
  • North Carolina (603)
  • Pennsylvania (587)
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
On a Wing and a Prayer
55 year old Joe Garcia of Ferndale, Washington has a competitive spirit, but he had more on his mind than simply running a race when he qualified for the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. We couldn't believe our eyes when we encountered Joe dressed in native garb including sandals, tunic and seashell necklace and anklet after the 5K road race held at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. One might have assumed he was making a joke out of the competition, but Joe was dead serious about his mission.


"I am dressed like my ancestors of the Taino tribe of the Caribbean. We were the first indigenous people to meet Columbus, and I am descended from a great Taino leader," he explained. "I knew that there were many very great athletes in my age group, so I decided my purpose was not to win a medal as much as to run for my people. This was a prayer run dedicated to honor all of my people-past, present and future."


Joe's road to his first National Senior Games has not been an easy one.  He was an active elite runner until he suffered a fractured C7 vertebrae in an automobile accident  more than two decades ago. "The doctors said no more running, you will do more harm than good to yourself. That was tough," he recalls. "After some time I prayed and asked 'if You will allow me to run again, I will be a Prayer Warrior.' I started to jog and slowly brought myself back to running. Then, 10 years ago God told me I needed to be a better man, so I quit drinking and got myself into better physical and spiritual shape," he said. 


When he found out about senior games, Joe knew that was the right path to pursue to help maintain his health. "But I came to this event to do something special, something bigger than myself.  I can feel the presence of my people with me here."  


Joe's Taino name is Kaona-Bo or "Mighty Man of Gold." He may not have won a gold medal, but it's clear that he already possessed a heart of "Kaona."


Senior Health and Wellness

Personal Best Epilogues, Blog Updated

You may recall that six of our featured Personal Best athletes contributed monthly updates to their online profiles. With the close of the Games, we are pleased to share epilogues about their experiences that are now posted on the Personal Best page.  While you are there check out the tour blog recapping our special Personal Best show in Cleveland.


Hints For Having a Healthy Heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every four deaths is due to heart disease.  Here are some steps that Humana recommends you take to live a heart healthy lifestyle:

  • Talk To Your Doctor About Your Risk Factors. We often fail to make a connection between risk factors and our chance of developing heart disease. Key risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. About half of us have at least one of these key risk factors.
  • Change Your Eating Habits. Cut out foods high in cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium, as well as reducing alcohol intake. Eat more foods that are high in fiber, low in salt and fats and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight. Extra weight means your heart has to work harder; combined with a poor diet, this can lead to heart disease.
  • Increase Physical Activity. Maintaining a regular fitness routine will help lower your blood sugar and strengthen your heart. If carving out a block of time is difficult, try squeezing in three, 10-minute walks throughout the day.
  • To learn more, Humana recommends you see your primary care doctor today.


NSGA thanks Humana for sharing this feature. For more information on a wide range of related topics, please visit Health and Well Being in the Learning Center at www.Humana.com.

NSGA Online Merchandise Store

2013 Games Gear Still Available at NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Want something more to remember your trip to Cleveland? Go to theNSGA Store at www.NSGA.com, with a couple of clicks, you can view and select apparel featuring the official logo of the 2013 Games. 


Let everyone know you're an athlete in the senior games movement that "rocked" Cleveland.  Get into gear!