By Don Kjelleren— Board President
Greetings to all Vermont Senior Games athletes, volunteers, sponsors, partners, and friends. May 2012 bring you the very best of health and happiness!
The VSGA is starting its second year since announcing our revitalization, rejuvenation and reorganization. I am very pleased and thankful to report we had an exceptionally good year, and are on the path for serious growth as well as to providing healthy aging programs and activities for the Vermont aged 50+ community. In this past year we have built a terrific foundation with a fully committed outstanding 14 member board of directors, a first class team of sports coordinators, an expanded list of game opportunities, an excellent newsletter and web site, the introduction of online registration, wonderful volunteers, some great sponsors, and more. The more is the best part— it is you, the athletes who participated in our 2011 games. I have been overwhelmed by the letters and other comments we have received from athletes informing us how much they enjoyed participating in our games. It is your board’s goal to continue to upgrade our games by providing the highest quality venues and conduct of every event.
I have every reason to believe that 2012, our 29th year, will be our best ever. I am anticipating doubling our athlete participation to an all-time record number of participants in the Vermont Senior Games— to no less than 500 games registrations. We are adding games to the point where we will offer more than 20 different sports for you to choose from. We are particularly excited about the reintroduction of the winter games. We are also in the planning stage for holding an ice hockey tournament late this winter.
This year the 2012 VSGA State Championships will also include qualifying for the 2013 NSGA Summer Games National Championships to be held in Cleveland, Ohio from July 21 to August 6, 2013. The organizers of the Cleveland games expect over 12,000 athletes to participate. This will be the largest multi-sport event in the world. Due to the close proximity of Cleveland I am hopeful we will send a large and strong team of athletes to compete in the 2013 National Championships.
The last issue of Vital Times! Introduced our initial plans for our non-competitive year-round walking program. With additional effort to refine and better define the Walk Vermont program, it has been decided to upgrade and significantly change this program. We will formally introduce and kick-off an exciting fully revised state-of-the-art non-competitive sports oriented program in our May issue of Vital Times! It is our expectation that this revised and expanded program will generate interest and provide motivation for persons to participate who wish to have fun and fellowship in a non-competitive atmosphere that leads to healthy aging, a quality lifestyle, and well-being.
The games committee is in the process of finalizing dates and venues for our 2012 State Championships. Please go to the web site for information on your sport of interest. As dates and venue locations are confirmed they will be reported on the web site. Some are already there. The May issue of Vital Times! and our web site will contain the full 2012 schedule, information, and registration forms.
As mentioned in the last newsletter, we have doubled our budget for the 2012 games
season. Trying to keep our registration fees as nominal as possible is a function of both the number of participants and our success in obtaining donations, in-kind support, and sponsors. Even though we have a larger budget it is still quite limited as to the programs and activities we wish to provide. As your president I would be remiss if l did not ask for your help in this area. Let me know if you wish to be a sponsor, or know of anyone we should contact, or if you can help us in any other way.
Finally, let me remind you that the Board solicits your comments, suggestions, and ideas. Send them to me or to any board member. Remember that this is our organization and only through your inputs and participation will we have an even better year in 2012. Thanks again!