No matter your age, it’s never too late to engage in an active, healthy lifestyle.
Sam Rogers, a 60-year-old Evansville resident and senior engagement advisor at Deaconess Health System, first heard of the Senior Games while on the board of directors at the Southwestern Indiana Regional Council on Aging (SWIRCA & More) about seven years ago. A lifelong dedicated athlete, Rogers decided he would give it a shot and compete in the Indiana State Senior Games.
“I’ve always played basketball all these years,” he says. “I never quit playing since high school; I played a lot of intramurals in college (at the University of Missouri) and just never quit playing.”
Each state has its own Senior Games, a 20-sport competition for people over age 50 that anyone can enter even if they don’t live in the state. After competing in Indiana’s Games for several years, Rogers entered Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, the largest state games in the country, in early October to participate in basketball and power walking events.
At the Huntsman Games, Rogers won silver and bronze medals, respectively, in 55+ men’s 3-on-3 and 60+ men’s 5-on-5 basketball and took home bronze medals in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter men’s power walking events all in the 60+ age category. He was on track to win the 1,500-meter race but was disqualified.
“I had a gold medal, but I got disqualified because you can get up to three red cards,” he says. “They have judges all over the course and around the track, and they said I got three red cards. They told me 10 minutes after the race that I was disqualified because I was losing contact with the ground. So that means I had to alter my stride and my approach for the next two races.”
Due to his Top 3 placement in the events, Rogers will travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in May to compete in basketball and power walking at the biennial National Senior Games.
Photos provided by Sam Rogers.