Becky Sewell Joins NSGA Staff
We are pleased to announce that Becky Sewell has joined NSGA as Director of Athlete and Partner Relations. Sewell is no stranger to the Senior Games Movement, having served as Director of the Kansas Senior Olympics since 2000. She has also distinguished herself on the NSGA Board of Directors serving as West Regional Coordinator, National Games Committee Chair and Secretary for the NSGA Executive Committee.
"I am excited to join the National Senior Games Association staff," Sewell said. "Since my first time attending the National Senior Games in 1999, the Senior Games Movement has been my passion. I look forward to broadening my scope of work from the state level to the national level and being part of an organization that promotes healthy, active aging."
Replacements have been announced to fill her former board assignments. Executive Committee Secretary will be Deb Smith (ME), National Games Committee Chair will be Kate Amack (CO), and West Regional Coordinator will be Mike Brown from Oklahoma Senior Games. Her replacement for coordinator of Kansas Senior Olympics will be determined at a later date and the contact information will be updated on the NSGA website.
On Your Marks: State Qualifying Begins
The road to Minnesota begins with qualifying in one of NSGA's sanctioned member state games. You can qualify in your home state, and many states offer open registration. It's not unusual for senior athletes to compete in several just to enjoy the fun, fellowship and fitness!
The Games in Arizona (February 15 - March 9), Mississippi (April 25 - May 3) and Texas (March 27-April 6) are coming up fast. Please visit the State Registration page at NSGA.com to search for specific information and registration links for the state(s) you are interested in.
2015 NSGA Sport Rules Book Now Available
Qualifying procedures and rules of competition for the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana have been approved and are available for view at NSGA.com. While the Sport Rules are based upon those set forth by the recognized national governing body for each sport, some sport rules have been modified and/or revised in the best interest of National Senior Games competitors.
"We would like to thank the National Games Committee for their assistance with updating the rule book," said NSGA Director of Events and Programs Sue Hlavacek. "The new changes reflect clarification of some rules and updating the governing body changes in some sports for the 2014 qualifying state senior games. The updates will help the athletes have a better understanding of the rules."
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Resolution: Get Something to Wear at the NSGA Store
A new year deserves some new exercise wear. In addition to tee shirts and other warm weather gear, we have some pretty snappy windbreakers, hoodies and long sleeve t shirt options in a variety of colors. You can also custom print by selecting from a number of 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 Cleveland!
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
In the Caribbean the expression "cool runnings" means "peace be the journey." For Trinidad born and raised runner and cyclist Harris Richardson, the saying took on a literal meaning because 28 of his 69 years have been spent working and living in less-than-balmy Alaska.
As a young tradesman Harris landed a job helping build an oil refinery in St. Croix in 1968. When the Alaska Pipeline started in 1975 he tried out a nine month contract and convinced his family to move to Tacoma, Washington. In 1979, Anchorage became his base for oil production operations work. Asked why a tropical son would want to endure working in wind chills of up to -79 degrees, he replies "I'm adventurous. I wanted to travel. In school I read about Eskimos and igloos and I wanted to see those things. It was a good stay there. I've always been running, and I did a lot of cross country running there. Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth."
Now 69 and retired to Sumter, South Carolina, Harris recalls how he became a senior athlete. "Back in the '70s, I was watching Wide World of Sports and they showed these older gentlemen and women competing in some games in Arizona. I said 'Wow - isn't that magnificent! I don't mind doing that when I'm that old.' I didn't hear anything else til I retired and a guy in my church told me he cycled in the South Carolina Senior Games. So I started riding too. When I went to my first state games in 2006 I saw the track and field action and started that the next year."
Harris has qualified and competed twice in track events at the national level. He earned a Gold and two Bronze medals in the 2011 National Senior Games Presented by Humana in Houston, but fate intervened on his 2013 results in Cleveland. "Last year was a bad year because I tore my meniscus in a meet and it really set me back. But I'm still running and just now getting it back. I will be in Minnesota for 2015."
Why is he so hot to do something so cool as competing in Senior Games? "I do it more for fitness but I like the competition and being with others. I've gotten several people motivated to start running and riding too. Some say they can't go fast but I tell them if you just show up you're winning."
Peace be your journey, Harris.
We're always looking for great athlete stories. Submit yours on our Athlete of the Month page at NSGA.com!
Senior Health and Wellness
NSGA Enters President's Challenge Advocacy
When you hear mention of The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN), you may only think of the youth fitness test that was initiated by the Council under President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago. It's a great legacy that continues, but today's PCFSN is dedicated to promote health and fitness for Americans of all ages through several President's Challenge programs, which have motivated millions to get fit, to feel better about themselves, and to lead active lifestyles.
- The Adult Fitness Test measures an adult's aerobic fitness, muscular strength, flexibility, and other aspects of health-related fitness.
- The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) challenge is for people who want to make physical activity and healthy eating part of their everyday lives. After taking the Adult Fitness Test, start tracking your progress to greater fitness and health and gain a PALA Award.
- The Presidential Champions challenge is for people who want to be more active more often. Earn points that lead to Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. Senior Games Athletes are already on this path...so this is a the next step after completing the PALA Challenge.
NSGA is proud to now be an official Advocate for The President's Challenge. PCFSN Executive Director Shellie Pfohl came to Cleveland to see competition firsthand at the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana and to express her support at our Personal Best presentation. To close the program, NSGA Executive Director Marc T. Riker signed the President's Challenge Advocate Letter of Agreement pledging to help promote these programs as part of NSGA's mission to promote health and wellness to all adults 50+ through education, fitness and sports.
Visit our President's Challenge page and follow through to the Fitness.gov website to learn more and to take the challenge. Then tell your friends and family to join in too!
President's Challenge Information
Calling All Bloggers!
Do you have a blog sharing your experiences as a senior athlete? Do you offer helpful information about nutrition, training or other health and wellness topics online? We'd like to hear from you!
Please email us at news@NSGA.com with a link to your blog and we will consider sharing the link in the Health and Wellness section of our website with others of its kind. To be clear, your blog must be dedicated to sharing useful information or interesting experiences. We cannot share any content intended to regularly promote a specific product or program for profit.