Many people think of athletes as young, 20-something stars, but athleticism has no age limit. In fact, many retirees find themselves in the best shape of their lives because they have more time to train and are passionate about finding new, active hobbies.
There are many competitions made specifically for older adults. Here, we share five of the best opportunities for you to show your athletic skills as a retiree.
Huntsman World Senior Games
According to its website, the Huntsman World Senior Games is “the largest annual multi-sport event in the world for athletes aged 50 and over.” The competition includes over 30 different sports, such as softball, swimming, soccer, and even square dancing! The event takes place in St. George, Utah, over a two-week period. You can register for a single event in one sport or multiple events in several different sports.1
The National Senior Games
The National Senior Games Association is “a non-profit organization dedicated to motivating active adults to lead a healthy lifestyle through the senior games movement.” The organization hosts an annual event that features the best athletes aged 50 years or older in a number of sports. From track to volleyball to pickleball, the NSGA is the go-to event for older athletes.2
In order to compete at the National Senior Games, you must first qualify at a state-level qualifying game. Each state has its own qualifying event. For most sports, athletes qualify by placing in the top four of their age group.3,4
US Masters Swimming National Championships
US Masters is a national nonprofit that offers USMS programs and clubs throughout the country. There are more than 1,500 Masters Swimming clubs and workout groups in the US, so odds are there's at least one where you live.5
The beauty of Masters is that it's for all ages 18+, including retirees. Swimming is a great sport to take up in retirement because it's a full-body workout with a low impact on your joints and a great way to meet people in your community.5
The USMS National Championships are the height of Masters racing. The organization offers two main championships: a pool championship and an open water championship. Each championship has different events that are categorized by age group. The age groups are separated into four-year blocks, and the oldest age group that can compete is 95–99 years old.5
Amateur Players Tour
The Amateur Players Tour (AMT) is an organization that hosts amateur golf tournaments all over the country. Many retirees pick up golf or start to take the game more seriously in retirement and playing in an AMT event is a great way to put those skills to the test. These events take place on beautiful courses where the pros play and are perfect for players of all skill levels. Events are separated by skill level, and there are even specific senior events.6
While many retirees can successfully complete a full triathlon, some prefer to tackle a sprint triathlon, which is a physical competition involving swimming, cycling, and running over shorter distances. Generally, a sprint triathlon will consist of a 750-meter swim, a 20k bike ride, and a 5k run. This is half the distance of an Olympic triathlon. The exact distances might vary depending on the race. These sprint triathlons are great for beginner or novice athletes or athletes who want to work their way up to a full triathlon.7
These are just a few of the many athletic competitions available for retirees and older adults. They prove that age is just a number and that even in retirement, you can prioritize your physical and mental strength.
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