President’s Message Autumn 2011

By Don Kjelleren— Board President

I am pleased to report that the 28th year of the Vermont Senior Games and our transition year were very successful. We offered seven additional sports, increased athlete participation by 27%, established a sports coordinator network, improved our financial integrity, made good strides in building awareness of the VSGA, produced three excellent newsletters, had 25% of our athletes register on line, introduced a new and significantly improved web site, strengthened our board of directors, and revised our by-laws in addition to a number of other innovations and upgrades to the Vermont Senior Games Association.

There are many persons to thank for this excellent progress towards making the VSGA a highly successful organization providing programs and activities focused on maintaining and improving the health and well-being of Vermont’s aged 50-plus community. We are very fortunate to have a 15-member Board of Directors committed and devoted to the long term success of the VSGA. The games committee, and especially the new and expanded sports coordinator network, deserve our special thanks for organizing and running the sports events. Our greatest thanks go to our athletes for their participation in the games. Each one is an Olympian. Thank you to all the volunteers who help make the games possible. On behalf of everyone involved in the VSGA we thank our sponsors, supporters and partners!

Even though we are doing well, our work is far from over. Looking ahead to next year we are making plans that, if we are successful, will lead to doubling the number of athletes participating in our games. In addition to our state championship games, 2012 is the qualifying year for the 2013 NSGA National Championships. These games will be held from July 21 to August 6, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Being only a day’s drive from Vermont, we are hopeful of sending a large contingent to Cleveland.

We have formed a Winter Games committee with the expectation of returning these games to our sports portfolio in the 2012 ski season.

One of our exciting new plans for 2012 is to inaugurate a state-wide walking program. This program is part of our vision to provide sports oriented activities for those seeking the health benefits of a year-round non-competitive physical activity.

We will continue to make our games fun filled and of the highest quality. I have received numerous unsolicited comments from athletes stating our games are the best run of any they have participated in. Many basketball, track and field, bicycling, swimming and pickleball participants were very complementary.

We are hopeful that more athletes will take advantage of our on-line games registration provided by Vermont Systems. We are reviewing all our registration procedures with the goal of making registration for our games as easy and efficient as possible.

Our growth and performance is a function of our financial health. It was very gratifying to see how many athletes made donations when they registered. We have begun an aggressive fund raising program that will make it possible to expand our activities and support our games to provide competitions whose quality is second to none. If you know of anyone who would like to be a sponsor and/or advertise in this newsletter, please contact me.

We continue to welcome persons who would like to serve on our board of directors. Please let me know if you are interested.

Finally, let me personally thank everyone who has contributed to making our 28th year so successful!