National Senior Games pulls site switcheroo for 2nd time in rowTwo years ago, I gave the National Senior Games Association grief for announcing a venue change вЂ” switching the track meet portion of the National Senior Olympics from Houston to Humble, Texas, about 19 miles away. Now we learn they’ve done it again вЂ” moving the late July 2013 meet from Cleveland to the western suburb of Berea, about 16 miles away. Two athletes who noticed the change have written me or the NSGA to complain. Masters Moles 266c(3) and 76664a shared their concerns this month, focusing on travel and facility issues.
One thrower wrote me January 10:
I noticed last night that this year’s National Senior Games track and field venue has been moved to Baldwin Wallace, in Berea.В I am sure that you remember that this was the site of the 2011 USATF Masters Champs.В This is generally a great venue.В The exception is the hammer cage. We used this cage during the 2011 USATF Masters Championships.
The fabric of the cage has large holes in it, making it unsafe for both competitors and spectators. Additionally, the throwing field is used more frequently for a parking lot than as throwing field, and is quite uneven and rutted, rendering it unsuitable for setting any records, and difficult for officials to move around. And, finally, this cage is over a mile away from the track, making it very difficult for multi-event athletes to get back and forth in short time frames. The shuttles that were promised in 2011 were infrequent and almost useless.
I have sent an e-mail of concern to the National Senior Games organization, but have a feeling that they will be even less concerned about hammer throwers that the folks that select the USATF masters venues.
Today another masters athlete shared the note sent to the NSGA:
Last year I qualified in track and field for the National Senior Games because they were advertised as being held in Cleveland. I have now gone to your website only to find that that the track and field meet has been moved out of Cleveland to Berea, OH.
Worse, there is only one bus line Rt. 86 serving Berea and it operates on an hourly schedule. Worse yet, the Rt. 86 does not even run to downtown Cleveland, but requires a transfer. This means that bus service from Cleveland requires two buses and could take as long as an hour and a half one way.
One late bus and an athlete could miss an entire session. Why would the “Cleveland” National Senior Games move the track meet outside of Cleveland?
As I did in 2011, I’ll write the NSGA for an explanation.