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.