OATS from AARP Awards Five Exceptional Older Adults as 2022 'Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes'

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NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a competitive nationwide application process, five older adult athletes were named 'Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes,' receiving a $1000 stipend to meet their fitness goals and inspire other older adults to get active. The award was granted by Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP, which has helped thousands of seniors get in shape, learn new skills, save money and make new friends through free classes and workshops offered on Senior Planet.

The recipients will serve as Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes in 2022. In this role, they will inspire other older adults by sharing their fitness journeys through original blog posts on seniorplanet.org and hosting interactive online presentations about their areas of athletic expertise.

"Surfing, weightlifting, hiking: Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes are challenging perceptions of the types of activities that seniors can take part in and inspiring older adults to pursue their unique fitness goals along the way," said Tom Kamber, Executive Director of Older Adults Technology Services from AARP. "These athletes are powerful reminders that age is just a number when it comes to starting your fitness journey."

Meet this year's sponsored athletes:

  • Sally Saenger is 66 years old and recently competed in a surfing competition. She is based in Santa Barbara, California.

  • Keo Capestany is 85 years old and an avid weightlifter. He is based in Seattle, Washington.

  • Evon "MsFAITH!" Bennett is 62 years old and has run/walked 34 half marathons. MsFAITH! is based in Tallahassee, Florida.

  • Paul Gammarano is 68 years old and plays ice hockey three times a week. He is based in Staten Island, New York.

  • Carolyn Hartfield is 73 years old and is a competitive race walker who leads group hikes. She is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

This group marks the third annual year of Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes who are sharing their stories and inspiring their community and older adults everywhere to stay active. To read more about the 2022 Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes and follow their journeys, visit SeniorPlanet.org.

"It was so rewarding to be a Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete," says runner David Hill and a 2020 program athlete. "I enjoyed sharing my successes and enthusiasm and passing on tips…it was easy! It was great meeting the other athletes and working with the Senior Planet staff. And I liked wearing the Senior Planet gear, too!"

Abbey Moon, a 2021 Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete and competitive powerlifter who recently received a silver medal at International Powerlifting Federation's Championships, was featured in the Seattle Times, New Day Northwest, McKnights Home Care and FOX13 Seattle.

"My stint as a Sponsored Athlete has changed me for better and for good! I was always an enthusiastic exerciser. Now I'm also a more intentional exerciser," says Hollis Wagenstein-Hurturk, 2021 program athlete. "I was no longer just exercising for myself; I was exercising for everyone else, to prove that age and disability were not obstacles to an athletic lifestyle."

About OATS from AARP

Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP helps older adults learn to use and leverage technology to transform their lives and their communities. Through its flagship program, Senior Planet, OATS works closely with older adults to create extraordinary experiences in-person and online. As one of AARP's charitable affiliates, the mission of OATS from AARP is "to harness the power of technology to change the way we age." To learn more, visit www.oats.org or follow @OlderAdultsTech on social media.

Media Contact: oats@berlinrosen.com


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SOURCE Older Adults Technology Services from AARP