This evening AARP is sponsoring a send-off party for 103 of Maine’s finest senior athletes and coaches! The Maine Senior Games, a program offered through the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, will be participating in the biennial National Senior Games Association competition in Cleveland, Ohio July 19-August 1. This is the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors. Athletes must be age 50 or older the year prior to the national competition in order to compete. Athletes are broken up into 12 categories to compete in twenty events. It’s not too early to begin thinking of training for the next round! The 2015 competition will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Deb Smith is one of the athletes that will be traveling to Ohio next week as a member of one of the five women’s basketball teams. Smith has been involved with the Maine Senior Games since 2000 when she started coaching and in 2005 she began participating in events. To get in shape for the competition Deb plays basketball 2-3 times per week with different groups. She loves scrimmaging with all age groups because there is a mutual love for the game. Deb also participates in a boot camp style work out once a week to work on her strength, speed, and agility and bikes 45 miles each week! Smith says she “works hard to be in good shape.” Besides the competition, Deb is most looking forward to the huge network of friends she will be able to see. Smith says she, “feels like she is going to the Olympics!” and also comments that, “this [competition] is easily one of the top three things in my life.”
Good luck to all the athletes and safe travels as well. Here at AARP Maine we are looking forward to hearing your stories after your return and sharing them with our members!
If you would like more information in the Maine Senior Games you can visit http://www.smaaa.org/maine_senior_games.php.