Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Virginia Senior Games: 2014 Results, 2015 Preparation

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Virginia Senior Games is presented by the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS).  A private, non-profit professional organization, VRPS was founded in 1953 with the purpose of uniting all professionals, students, and interested lay persons engaged in the field of recreation, parks, and other leisure services in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Virginis Senior Games logo

2015 VSG Games
May 13-16, 2015
Newport News, VA
Post your photos and your press -  on theVSG Facebook page

Additional photos are available on the
VRPS Quick Links

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Thanks to our 2014 Venue Sponsors

2014 Virginia Senior Games Results

2014 results are availableonline
2014 Results

Congratulations to all 2014 participants.
  • Online results are available HERE.
  • Online results book is available HERE.
  • Check your name for 2015 National Senior Games qualification!
  • 2014 Virginia results have been reported to National Senior Games.
  • Photos are available on the VSG Facebook pageHERE.
  • More photos are available on the Newport News Active Lifestyles page HERE.
New for 2015
  • Registration will be available early 2015.
  • In order to more efficiently serve you, volunteers, hosts, and event staff, registration will be online only.
  • New festivities at the Athlete's Wellness Fair and Party will include an open fun walk and mini-golf.
Save the Dates!
Friday 7/3 - Thurs 7/16
Bloomington / Minneapolis /
St. Paul, Minnesota

Interested in past results?  Click HERE.
 What's YOUR story?
Share your "press with us:
Post to the VSG Facebook page.
Contact us via email.
Thanks to our 2014 GOLD MEDAL Sponsors!
Virginia Senior Games 
6372 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Suite 109 
Mechanicsville, Virginia 23111 
(804) 730-9447

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Foundation of VRPS Jesse A. Reynolds Memorial Scholarship Winner

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Jesse A. Reynolds was a parks and recreation director for the City of Richmond. He was instrumental in establishing professional parks and recreation "registration", which was the predecessor to Virginia's CPRP program. Upon his passing, Jesse's family, including son Ron Reynolds, a former director in Campbell County and a former VRPS Foundation Board member, established a scholarship in his name.

Designed to assist professionals currently employed in leisure services (preferably public recreation), this $1500 scholarship is granted to assist in graduate level education, either on a part-time or full-time basis, and is awarded every other year.  The 2014 scholarship applicant pool was extremely admirable; the Foundation Scholarship Committee was more than impressed with their accolades, initiative, and potential.  This year's winner is Rebecca Flaherty of Lovettsville, Virginia.

Rebecca is employed by Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority and is a working towards her Master of Science in Sport and Recreation Studies at George Mason University, with an expected graduation in Spring, 2016.  Specifically, she is the Assistant Manager of the Upper Potomac Regional Park Golf Pro Shop, to include operations, staff supervision, retail, and more, as well as assisting with managing all other operations of the park, such as facility rentals, boating operations, waterpark functions, and much more.  In a former role with NVRPA, Rebecca assisted with management of the Upper Potomac Regional Parks, to include Temple Hall Farm, Balls Bluff Battlefield, Red Rock Wilderness, Whites Ford, and Seneca Regional Parks.  And, to round things out even more, she is a former National Park Service Ranger.

"My graduate program at George Mason University has allowed me the opportunity to realize and develop my long term goal of fostering civic development within the community. My thesis will focus directly on this idea, and my study will be based on the outdoor programming that Adventure Links, based out of Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, offers.

Adventure Links offers similar recreational opportunities as Outward Bound and National Outdoor Leadership School, only on a smaller scale. There has never been a study done on their programming, and I believe the results will benefit them, as well as the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. I would love to be able to help promote both agencies more, as well as provide evidence of the need for more programs like Adventure Links."

Monday, October 6, 2014

Virginia Senior Games - a Little History ...

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Virginians, like the rest of America, are riding the age wave:
  • Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 today, and this will continue every day through 2030 (Pew Research Center).
  • An American turns 50 every 7 seconds – that’s more than 12,500 people every day (US Census).
  • The senior age group is now, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percent of the population in the U.S. By 2015, those aged 50 and older will represent 45 percent of the U.S. population (AARP).

The Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) is a private, non-profit professional organization, founded in 1953. Its purpose is to unite all professionals, students, and interested lay persons engaged in the field of recreation, parks, and other leisure services in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VRPS is affiliated with the National Recreation and Park Association.

In keeping with its mission to promote parks and recreation to the benefit of Virginians, VRPS produces the Virginia Senior Games (VSG), an annual athletic event offering competition in over 21 sports over the course of 4 days for participants aged 50 and older. The first Virginia Senior Games were held in 1978 in Richmond and presented contests in 14 sports. The Games move around the state and are typically hosted in the same locality for four years before moving on. Athletes today can compete in upwards of 21 sports, ranging from Archery to Volleyball and most everything in between. Recent, popular additions include Pickleball, Cycling, and Disc Golf.

The Virginia Senior Games is a qualifying competition for the National Senior Games, which take place every other year. VSG is also an open event, so that no scores or times are required for entry. Athletes can compete in multiple sports, and out-of-state sportspersons are welcome. Competition adheres to National Senior Games rules, and medals are awarded in each age category (5-year increments). Additionally, athletes and their guests are treated to an annual Athletes’ Party and Wellness Fair, based on a new festive theme each year and offering activities, musical entertainment, and snacks, all in keeping with a showcase for services and resources for healthy lifestyles in Virginia.

Clearly, the benefits to VSG athletes are monumental – the physical demands of competition encourage participants to train year-round, in many cases. This preparation also lends itself both to greater daily structure and socializing. And, needless to say, winning, losing, and teamwork are their own reward. However, one might wonder if the true winners are the volunteers and spectators.

  • To witness a 101-year-young swimmer complete in both 50m and 100m freestyle swimming races, and thereby set World Records, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
  • To watch a 77-year-young Vietnam War veteran tossing horseshoes and bowling balls from his wheelchair, where he has sat since 1963 as the only survivor of his combat helicopter flight, is a privilege.
  • To meet a 50-something-year-young road racer who competes wearing a fluffy pink tutu is a lesson in what matters.
For some, especially the women, VSG is the first time in their lives that they have the opportunity to learn and experience the value of sport competition. Every athlete has a story – and it begins back home, during the course of their training and their decision to compete in the Virginia Senior Games. For example, that 101-year old swimmer drove herself to the pool every morning at 5am to train. That “horseshoer” was an advocate for ADA and spent most of his life working with autistic individuals. The road racer … well she’s simply a knockout ….

Virginia Senior Games fun facts:

  • Competition is offered in: Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Billiards, Bowling, Canasta, Cycling, Disc Golf, Golf, Horseshoes, Mini Golf, Pickleball, Pinochle, Racquetball, Road Race, Shuffleboard, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track & Field, and Volleyball.
  • Athletes must be 50 on or before December 31 of the competition year in order to participate.
  • Team competition is offered in both Basketball and Volleyball.
  • Partners and teams compete in the age group of the youngest participant.
  • Registration for the games begins at the beginning of the year, and the games take place mid-May.
  • Newport News Parks, Recreation and Tourism will be hosting the 2015 games for a third consecutive year.
  • To learn more about Virginia Senior Games, visit www.virginiaseniorgames.org
  • To enjoy photos and more, visit www.facebook.com/Virginia.Senior.Games
In memory of Samuel “Doc” Morton (September 20, 1937 – July 8, 2014) and all the others who will not return to the Games in 2015. Thank you for your years of exemplary athletic dedication and competition.