Middle States

A Lifetime Sport



If you ever had any doubt about tennis being a lifetime sport, talk to the competitors at the 2023 National Senior Games. 

 

Founded in 1987, the National Senior Games has existed as a non-profit organization dedicated to motivating active adults to lead a healthy lifestyle. The Games are held every two years at different locations throughout the United States, with more than 20 sports offered to play.  

 

The event recently took place in July at sites throughout Pittsburgh. The tennis division ages ranged from 50 to 95 years old, with more than 1,000 matches played and 500 individual participants traveling in from around the country. 

 

For the past three years, Doug Wenger has been the Tennis Tournament Director of the National Senior Games. He became involved after winning his division in the 2017 Games, hosted in Alabama. 

 

Wenger is an incredible help to the players and volunteers since he’s started. Martez Banks, a Senior Games player and military veteran, gifted Doug a “challenge coin” to acknowledge appreciation for Doug’s kindness, hard work, and support this year. 

Doug Wenger (left) with player Martez Banks
We took a trip out to the event over a few days, and spotlighted some players while they were waiting to play their matches.
 
Red Sheraton:

From Pinehurst, N.C., 89-year-old Red Sheraton traveled to Pittsburgh to play in the Senior Games for the eighth year. Sheraton began playing tennis after retiring at the age of 60. 

 

“I didn’t play tennis, but I saw old guys playing it and having fun,” he said. “So I said ‘I wonder if I can learn how to play tennis!’”

 

Growing up, Sheraton played basketball, football and baseball. His baseball experience inspired his participation in the softball Senior Games, along with tennis. Sheraton originally lived in Johnstown, Pa. as a steel mill worker, and then worked for the federal government for 33 years until his retirement.

Red Sheraton and his daughter
Norman Bloom and Glenn Williamson:

Both Norman Bloom and Glenn Williamson participated in the 85+ singles division. Paired against each other, they had no idea until they walked on the court that they would be reuniting with their freshman-year college roommate. 

 

The duo went to Geneva College when Williamson competed on the tennis team. Williamson taught Bloom how to play tennis in college, and now it’s come full circle.

 

Joseph Touzin:

At 75 years old, Joseph Touzin participated in his fourth National Senior Games this year. He participated in 75+ singles and 70+ men’s doubles divisions traveling from Annapolis, Md. 

 

In college, Joseph played lacrosse, football, and participated on the ski team. He picked up tennis when he could no longer play football and lacrosse, with tennis helping him stay in shape while also being easier on his body. He played tennis recreationally throughout his life but began playing in tournaments when he turned 65. Ten years ago, he started at the ITF Senior Masters Tour and now has earned a bronze and gold medal in doubles at the National Senior Games since joining the organization. 


Visit www.NSGA.com/ for more information about the organization.

TOURNAMENTS NEAR YOU


PROGRAMS NEAR YOU


Skip Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Articles

  • Visit the More than a Coach page
    More than a Coach
    February 26, 2024
    For James F. Phipps, tennis and coaching were not part of the plan. In his youth, Phipps dreamed of playing baseball. After college, Wall Street was his vision. Plans change. Read More
  • Visit the Firefly Tennis page
    Firefly Tennis
    January 30, 2024
    When Antonio Neacsu started New Jersey’s Firefly Tennis it was mostly centered around afterschool programs, camps and other community-based opportunities for junior players in the area. So when he purchased Hopewell Tennis and Swim Center in 2022, he knew his business was taking a large step forward. Read More
  • Visit the Charles S. Garland page
    Charles S. Garland
    January 23, 2024
    In 1924, Charles Steadman Garland became USTA Middle States’ first President. Though a historical honor, it was far from his only tennis accomplishment. Read More