About Matt Guild
Posts by Matt Guild:
Hello to our faithful athletes and friends. As some of you may know, I am the “interim” VSGA Board President for the rest of the year. In January of 2017, the Board will then elect their Executive team and move forward for the year. The Games Committee has done a wonderful job this year and the participation numbers support that. The Board has worked tirelessly to make sure your games are of the highest quality consistent with our Mission. We are currently working on our Strategic Plan for 2017 and beyond, which will guide this organization to provide high quality games and insure that Vermont athletes have an opportunity to qualify for our National Games.
The focus of my message today is to ask for your help. We are in need of volunteers and/or Board Members to ensure that the quality of our games continues in 2017. It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to put on each event. We need at least two people at each event that will be our “spokesperson” for VSGA, help with registrations, set up a marketing display, help with gathering and publishing results, taking photographs, and overall event support. As we look back on the 2016 season, we see that our Board Members and Sports Coordinators have provided the main event support but we urgently need more help.
You can volunteer by visiting us on our website and clicking on the volunteer tab, contacting a Board Member directly, sending us an e-mail or catching one of us at an event and discussing the possibilities.
Thanks to all of you for your participation and support and we look forward to an even better 2017.
Marti Powers, VSGA – President
The VSGA Games season is coming to an end and we would like to thank all the athletes and volunteers who made this another successful year. The 2017 National Games will be in Birmingham, Alabama and many of you who qualified have indicated you are making plans to attend.
The remaining games:
|Golf||September 20||Vermont National CC|
|Basketball||September 30||Castleton University|
|10K Run||October 1||Shelburne Town Beach*|
|Table Tennis||October 8||Shelburne Town Offices|
|Billiards (new)||October 9||St. Johnsbury Moose Lodge|
*Partner with GMAA (Art Tudhope race)
If you have been thinking about “seeing the fall colors”, think about joining us in St. Johnsbury for the Billiards tournament on Sunday, October 9th. Billiards is a Vermont State Game.
We expect this 8-Ball game will be very competitive – mixed with a bit of fun and fellowship. The tournament is hosted by NEK Pool at the Moose Lodge at 2388 Portland Street in the town of St. Johnsbury. Medals will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners by age group (usual 5 year age categories).
See you there!! If you have any questions, please call Marti Powers on 802-999-5499.
On August 3 Barbara Jordan and Flo Meiler along with photographer Elliot Burg were guests of host David Goodman on the Vermont Conversation on WDEV Radio. That conversation is available online on the Vermont Conversation web site. Listen to hear their thoughts on competing in their eighties, dealing with injuries and recovering from cancer. Also linked is Elliot Burg’s photo gallery from the 2015 National Senior Games.
By Gary Eley
In my last President’s Message for the winter newsletter, I announced that we would be lowering our age limit on Vermont Senior Games to 45. Well it seems that a lot of us had second thoughts about that and at our next board meeting, we rescinded that decision and went back to using the age 50 as our minimum age for participating in our events. So for the foreseeable future, 50 will be the benchmark. It is funny but some of my golf friends and other sports friends can’t wait until they are 50 so they can join their favorite games.
Our Vermont Senior Games season will soon be in full swing. 2016 is a qualifying year for the 2017 National Senior Games that will be held in Birmingham, Alabama. Here in Vermont, all our Senior Games are “open” events, which means that we allow anyone interested in participating, regardless of their state of residence. Allowing out-of-staters to participate in our Games does not hinder our own state residents from qualifying for nationals; we always qualify the top four finishers who are Vermonters, even if there are “out of state” qualifiers ahead of them.
Between April and October, we are proud to be hosting state championship events in fourteen different sports where athletes can qualify for the 2017 National Senior Games. In addition, we will be hosting three other sports that the National Senior Games Association does not offer, we call them our Vermont sports, and our first regional games in recent years. None of these events would be possible without the support of our partners and volunteers. They help us to host our events, staff our events, market our events, and recruit athletes for our events. We value our relationship with each and every partner and volunteer!
We want our games to be inclusive and welcoming to all levels of athletes. We encourage you, even if you have never participated in a Senior Game, to join us. We compete in 5-year age groups in all our events and our motto is “Fun, Fitness and Fellowship.” Some of our competitors are elite athletes, but many have never competed in a sports event before and they enjoy giving it their “best” regardless of how they stack up with the competition. Many of us don’t win medals but we keep track of our times and our progress in learning a new sport, and appreciate the incentive to get into better shape. I personally would not ride my bike as often and as hard as I do, if I did not have the annual bike race to look forward to each year. I keep track of my times to see if I improve, or as the case may be sometimes, how little I have lost. How much longer will it take me this year to ride the 1K, 5K, 10K, or 20K race than it did last year, or will I be faster?
In track and field, there are throwing, running, and jumping events. This year we plan to have clinics before the track and field competition to coach and instruct newcomers on how to do the events. I have learned how to high jump, and throw the discus, javelin, and shot put over the last few years. I never did these events when I was in high school or college. So come on out and try them. It is exhilarating to throw something as far as you can or to jump higher than you ever have before. Likewise running can be fun, especially when it doesn’t last too long…like the 50 and 100 yard dashes!
If you are already a participant in our games, invite a friend to join you this year. If you have never attended a game, contact us and register for the sport of your choice. We have something for everyone and we have a lot of fun and fellowship when we get together. Check out our new website at www.vermontseniorgames.org or contact me personally: Gary Eley, 33 Adams Court, Burlington, VT 05401 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us this year! You will be glad you did!
By Gary Eley
I keep hoping there will be a lull in our work at Vermont Senior Games Association, but so far this year it has been full steam ahead and plenty of work to keep our board of directors busy. The most significant event this year was the passing of our President, Don Kjelleren. Don was a dynamo for VSGA and he tirelessly gave of himself to not only revive Vermont Senior Games, but he continued to work many long hours building up our programs and increasing our Games and your participation in our Games. No one person on our board could replace Don, especially his vision and his energy in making Vermont Senior Games what it is today. Thanks to our hard working board, we have been able to pick up all that Don was doing but it has been a major step up for all of us to fill in the gap that is left with Don’s passing.
Our games this year have been very well attended. Excluding our road races, 5k and 10k, we have had 451 participants in our 20+ games. Once we receive the numbers from those two races, I think we will be close to 600 participants in all for the year. This is very close to the number of participants we had last year and since this was a non-qualifying year (there will not be a national event this coming summer), we are very pleased with our participation results. Since this coming year will be a qualifying event for the games in 2017, I would predict that we will go beyond these numbers next year.
On a closing note, I want to say that Don Kjelleren was a tremendous inspiration to me and that his passing has only confirmed for me more deeply, the value and necessity of healthy regular exercise as a basic building block for a Healthy and Active Lifestyle. Since I semi-retired at age 65, my daily exercise has become more and more important to me and has enabled me to keep a sense of vitality that I did not believe was possible 6 years ago. I expected to gradually decline in energy, health and vitality as the years go by and that aging was inevitable and unavoidable. Aging may be unavoidable, but it does not need to be something to be feared, but rather something to be embraced and to be seen as an opportunity. My daily exercise has changed my experience of aging, and being involved in Senior Games has been a very positive influence in my life to keep that happening.
If you have not yet been to a Senior Game, give us a try. Come and find out how much fun, fellowship and fitness can mean in your life. Make 2016 a year of Games with us.
By Don Kjelleren – Board President
I would like to use my message to share a few words with you on the state of the Vermont Senior Games and our vision for 2014.
We have successfully completed our 30th year of serving the Vermont aged 50 and over community with health and wellness programs and activities. In all areas we can be proud: athlete participation, quality games, a great newsletter, an outstanding web site, and terrific volunteers.
More specifically, in 2013 we had some excellent events with increased participation along with a few disappointments. Notably pickleball, tennis, weight-lifting, and cycling had nice growth; track and field, table tennis, and basketball were on par for a non-qualifying year. Participation in swimming, horseshoes, and road races were not up to expectations.
Financially we are in good shape. From a hardly adequate balance of $4000 when we reorganized in 2011 we now enjoy a very solid financial condition. For this we give thanks to our sponsors, partners, and your generous donations. We are especially grateful to MVP Health Care who joined us in 2013 as our major games sponsor.
One of the highlights of 2013 was the VSGA participation in the NSGA summer games held in Cleveland, Ohio. We sent by far the largest contingent ever from Vermont. We brought home over 60 medals and ribbons. Again, my congratulations to our senior Olympians for “bringing home the gold” and more!!
I remain very excited at the progress being made by our MOVE for well-being initiative. The program is maturing with some wonderful success stories.
Most importantly, I cannot emphasize enough the contribution to the success of the VSGA of our volunteers. I deeply appreciate our dedicated Board of Directors, our committed sports coordinators, and I am especially thankful to all the folks who volunteer at our events and activities. Thank you to each of you…
Finally, I wish to thank those of you who sent very nice comments about their VSGA experience. We very much appreciate these words of thanks.
Looking ahead to 2014: 2014 is the qualifying year for the 2015 Minneapolis/St. Paul NSGA National championships. We look forward to once again qualifying a strong team to send to Minnesota.
I have set a goal of 500 registrations for our 2014 games. We will hold 14 or 15 national sports (sports held at NSGA games), and 5 or 6 state games (non-qualifying sports). As part of our 2014 program we will be focusing on horseshoes, swimming, bowling and racquetball. These have been historically our less-participated sports. Volleyball and badminton need leadership to get organized and running. We hope to introduce some new sports such as mountain biking. I continue to solicit interest in establishing softball and women’s basketball. Please let Barbara Jordan or me know if you are interested in participating and/or helping.
I am pleased to report The UVM Center for Aging and MVP Health Care will remain as our major sponsors of our MOVE for well-being and our competitive games initiatives.
We continue tweaking the MOVE program and anticipate significant growth in 2014 as the program gains increased awareness and desirability by organizations serving the aged 50 and over community.
We will initiate a major campaign to vastly increase awareness of the VSGA. The campaign will incorporate print media, radio, TV and social media.
The VSGA will participate in the April 12, 2014 Full Circle Festival. We will hold demonstrations of our sports and a MOVE for well-being presentation in Memorial Auditorium in Burlington. We hope you will attend this event and take the opportunity to meet our sports coordinators and Board to learn more about our sports and offerings. We will also have a table at the January 25, 2014 Expo 50-Plus exhibit.
The games committee and the marketing committee are planning a substantial increase in support of our sports coordinators through a vigorous marketing program promoting their sports.
I continue to solicit your comments, suggestions, and ideas. I also invite you to volunteer. We welcome new Board members, sports coordinators, or assistance in other ways.
In summary, I look forward to a record setting year full of fun, fellowship and fitness as we encourage the aged 50+ community to attain and maintain physical fitness leading to healthy aging, a quality lifestyle, and well-being.
Again, thank you to each and everyone, and please have a Happy and Healthy New Year!!
By Don Kjelleren – Board President
Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved currently and in the past with the Vermont Senior Games Association as we celebrate our 30th year of presenting our state championship games!! Vermont is one of the oldest members of the NSGA, and has had a long history of successfully serving the over 50 year old community. We all can be very thankful for Ardis Smith who kept the VSGA up and running for most of these years. I am proud to be your current president and pleased to serve with our outstanding Board of Directors in leading the VSGA into the next 30 years.
Our most exciting news is we have just entered into an agreement with MVP Health Care to be our exclusive major sponsor of our games. The substantial MVP grant will be used for developing wide-spread awareness of the VSGA, and to assist our sports coordinators in growing their sports. I am thrilled and appreciative with this new sponsorship, and look forward to an outstanding partnership between the VSGA and MVP Health Care.
This copy of the Vital Times! is our registration issue. Presented are the 2013 games, venues, dates, and registration information. Go to our web site www.vermontseniorgames.org for additional information and to register on line. Our goal is to grow our games registrations in 2013 by 25%, so I hope everyone who reads this newsletter will participate in the 2013 games in some way. Please spread the word and tell your friends about the VSGA.
Thirty-seven Vermont athletes will be traveling to Cleveland this summer to compete in the NSGA National Summer games championships. This is the largest representation anyone can recall going to Nationals from Vermont. We will report their results on our web site and in the next issue of Vital Times. Good Luck Vermont Athletes!!
The success of our games depends on many volunteers. If you would like to be a VSGA volunteer please let me, Barbara Jordan, or one of our sports coordinators know of your interest. I remain very interested in having some woman’s basketball teams. I know there are lots of ladies in Vermont who have played and enjoyed basketball in high school and college. Please give Bob Willey a call if you would like to renew your “basketball career” and play on a 3 on 3 women’s team. Softball men’s and woman’s teams is the largest event at Nationals. For many states it is also their largest event. We are working on adding softball to our list of sports. If you are interested in playing and/or forming a men’s or women’s softball team please contact Barbara Jordan at 658-4486.
With the great snow conditions our 2013 winter games were a big success. We have some plans in the works to add some features to make next year’s Nordic and Alpine events even more fun. I was very pleased with the turn-out for the weight lifting championships. We have some very strong athletes who enjoyed a very good competition.
Our MOVE for Well-being initiative is off to an outstanding start. The number of participants is growing nicely as well as the number of minutes of physical activity reported. The MFW committee is busy contacting the age 50+ community and encouraging participation in the program. I cannot stress enough the benefits of regular physical activity. If you are looking for a way to have fun, fellowship, and be motivated by having a goal, the MOVE program is for you. Go to the MOVE web site to learn about the program and to sign-up at www.moveforwellbeing.org
We’re Looking forward to seeing you at the games; let’s make this our best year ever! The VSGA is fun– fellowship– fitness!