NSGA and Department of Veterans Affairs Ramping Up Non-Ambulatory Sport Clinics
Beginning with the 2015 National Senior Games presented by Humana, non-ambulatory event categories for bowling, horseshoes and shuffleboard are now offered to broaden the opportunities for senior athletes of all abilities.
In 2014, NSGA was awarded a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help disabled veterans with assistance to cover event registration and travel costs, as well as assist with purchase of adaptive sports equipment to our member state games and at the national level.
The grant also provides for NSGA to host non-ambulatory sports clinics with assistance from regional VA facilities to promote and recruit veterans to attend, with the goal that they will participate in the future. In some cases, our state member games have been involved. Clinics have already been held in Largo, Florida, Miami, Colorado Springs, Denver, Palo Alto, Sacramento, and at the Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham. Future clinics have been scheduled for: Biloxi(shuffleboard-May 17, bowling-June 14 and horseshoes-June 29);Sacramento (shuffleboard-June 4); Pineville, LA (3 sports-June 22); and Ann Arbor, MI (bowling-Aug. 10).
To further efforts to recruit individuals to compete in these new categories at the 2017 Games, NSGA Director of Events and Programs Sue Hlavacek and board member DeWayne Vaughn will attend the Veterans Golden Age Games (an NSGA Member Organization) in Detroit and The National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Salt Lake City.
Of course, the non-ambulatory sport divisions in National Senior Games are open to any disabled persons over 50, not just veterans. For those who reside in a state whose games offer non-ambulatory bowling, horseshoes and shuffleboard, they will qualify in those member games. For states that currently do not have these divisions, persons can either compete in the regular age divisions in state games, or qualify in another recognized competition event for their sport under NSGA's Limited Event rules. State members can contact Justin Bui at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 225.706.5105 with any questions about non-ambulatory sports and clinics.
Zagat Ranks Birmingham #1 on "Next Food Cities" List
OK, show of hands: How many think Birmingham is only a BBQ town? While that's certainly a well-earned reputation to have, over the past two decades there has been a transformation of the city's food culture, and athletes can anticipate having many more dining options than they might have imagined.
Zagat, the internationally-recognized travelers resource that ranks restaurants, attractions and accommodations, has ranked Birmingham #1 on their list of America's Next Hot Food Cities. Follow the video link to learn more about the city and how its cuisine scene has bloomed.
Upcoming Qualifying Games
The calendar is loaded with qualifying games coming up. June will see action in California, Canada, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia. July keeps the heat up with continuing events and competitions opening in Canada, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington plus the National Veterans Golden Age Games (to be held this year in Detroit.)
Many state games' schedules extend over two or more weeks, so check the specifics for the sport(s) you are interested in. The State Games Information page at NSGA.com is kept up-to-date as information comes in. Follow the link below to find dates and contact information.
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
Sooner or later, Jerry Lindsay finds himself in the middle of the action. "I've always been blessed with the ability to make friends and get along with people," he tells us. "I guess it comes naturally to me."
The Los Angeles native, who as a youth ran track and played football in high school, earned a scholarship to Pepperdine University, and worked his way to high level positions during a 32-year career with the US Postal Service, also admits to having a competitive nature.
These two qualities would eventually lead to acting opportunities in television and movies, and also into involvement in Senior Games bowling. In a way, one lead to the other.
After retiring and moving to Las Vegas, Jerry took an acting class at a recreation center and gained experience on local stages and doing extra work on films. His big break came when he won a role playing the preacher who marries Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher in the 2008 hit comedy What Happens in Vegas. His scene, which is highlighted during the credits and included in the film trailer, was a favorite of the director due to Jerry's ad libs. "They had in mind that I would play that part like a Southern Baptist preacher, but I took on a Jamaican-British style accent and they loved it." He has also appeared in 2007'sRocky Balboa, some episodes of NCIS Las Vegas and other extra work. "If you watch closely, you might catch me in a crowd in the next Jason Bourne movie."
How did this lead to Senior Games? While he was taking the acting class he noticed a flyer on the wall about the Nevada Senior Games. "My first year, in 2006, I did the 50 yard and 100 yard dash. It was a photo finish on the 50, but I did win the 100. However, the next year, I pulled a hamstring before the games and could barely walk, so I decided to do something lower impact." Jerry and his wife Nannette had earlier joined their church bowling league "as a chance to expand our social circle, and also to do something that would keep us on a healthy trend." The Nevada Senior Games provided the same benefits.
In 2008, Jerry convinced Don Jordan, his lifelong friend of 69 years, to join him for doubles play. Don, who now lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, has teamed up with Jerry each year in Las Vegas, and the two met at National Senior Games in 2009 and 2015. There was some drama in Minnesota last year when Don started having chest pains. "He tried to hang in, but he felt he should fly home. On the same day I shared a silver medal in mixed doubles with Winnie Thierry, Don had heart surgery. But he's doing better and is looking forward to coming out to bowl with me again in September."
Nannette also bowls in The Games, but Jerry doesn't pair up with his wife. "She's quite a bit younger and better, and I would have to go way back down to bowl at her age group," he says. "Bowling teaches you humility. You think you're getting good and then all of the sudden you flop. There's always ways to do better. But there's also the social side of bowling. You meet people and have fun."
Jerry's people skills made him a natural to serve as Nevada Senior Game's bowling coordinator for the past five years. This year, he was elected to their board and now serves as its VP. Looking ahead to qualifying, Jerry jokes, "All I have to do is beat some of these great bowlers I've recruited over the past year. I might be doing a better job than I need to."
Senior Health and Wellness
15 Self-Care Habits to Help You Achieve Wellness Goals
Dr. Pamela Peeke, NSGA Foundation Trustee, best-selling author and expert on health, fitness, and nutrition, posted a blog that contains practical tips and advice worth sharing.
"With so much complexity in our daily lives, it's sometimes hard to remember what you need to do to stay on track with your wellness," she writes. "So often, we get derailed by countless distractions tugging at us from every direction throughout the day; we start to feel helpless, hopeless and defeated when we haven't addressed our own mental and physical needs."
Dr. Peeke then offers "a nifty Self-Care Cheat Sheet" of 15 recommended key habits to customize and practice to attain your best health, fitness, and wellness. Follow the link to read the complete blog and list of key habits.
Athletes, Get Involved in the 30th Anniversary!
Help us celebrate 30 years of National Senior Games in 2017 by sharing your fondest memories and fitness "secrets" with NSGA. Selected entries will be included on a 30th Anniversary web page and newsletter in 2017, plus in special displays and activities in Birmingham. Follow the links to convenient online forms below.
Memories of The Games
The introduction on the online form gives many examples of the types of memories we would love to hear from you, from funny to inspirational. You can even attach a photo to go with your story.
"30 Health and Fitness Secrets of Senior Athletes"
The top 30 athlete "secrets" will be shared with national media in 2017. What's your brief statement? It can be an inspiration, a favorite or your own original expression, or advice you have gathered from others. It can be about exercise, nutrition, keeping mentally active, or staying motivated. Let's hear it!
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Celebrate Older Americans Month with 2017 Logo Gear
May is Older Americans Month, as designated by the Administration on Aging with programs and celebrations around the country. What better way to dispel the stereotypes and show you practice an active lifestyle than to don apparel featuring the 2017 National Senior Games?
New designs are with the 2017 logo and other images are available on our online store. When you the link below, simply click on either NSGA or 2017 images to the various apparel types. Then click "Personalize" to position and add the artwork you want onto your selection. You can virtually turn your apparel on every side and add images on front, back and each sleeve of apparel items. Then add to cart and you're on your way to styling a new look. Get started today!
The Official NSGA Store at NSGA.com