2024 Florida Senior Games, December, 2-15, Florida's Sports Coast/Pasco County

Florida Senior Games Tennis Players and Basketball Teams win Gold at 2023 National Senior Games

An achilles tendon proved to be the downfall of Martha Poitevent in the 2023 National Senior Games Women’s Singles 75-79 age group.

The pain of an injury that had been nagging for months forced her withdrawal from the event on Wednesday, July 12.

Two full days of rest and the help of onsite medical trainers were enough return to the Mellon Park Tennis Center and win the 75-79 age group Women’s Doubles gold medal with Joanne Collier. It was the second consecutive National Senior Games gold medal for the pair.

“I withdrew on Wednesday and didn’t start playing doubles until Saturday,” Poitevent said. “The rest and help from the training staff with taping was a big help. They also suggested I get some heel lifts for my shoes.”

Poitevent, from St. Augustine (on left in green in photo), and Collier, from Lakeland (on right in green in photo), won four matches between Saturday and Monday for the gold medal.  Each of the four wins came in straight sets.  They defeated Karen Barry and Jady Von Der Leith, from California, 6-3, 6-2, in the championship match.

In the first set, the score was tied at 3, before Poitevent and Collier reeled of three game wins. It was the same in the second set, with a 2-2 tie, and the eventual 6-2 win.

The strategy and skills of Poitevent and Collier seemed to frustrate their California opponents. Barry and Von Der Leith hit balls into the net, sent shots out of bounds, were unable to return shots and even had a service error in the final game.

“I have a slice shot with a side spin on my forehand that opponents have a hard time hitting,” Poitevent said.

Collier manned the back part of the court for the duo, to limit Poitevent’s movement, returned the majority of shots in the second set with accuracy and authority.

“I was running all over the place back there,” Collier said. “I had one shot where I ran quite a way for it and it dropped right in where they couldn’t get it.”

“She came on strong when we needed it,” Poitevent said of Collier’s play.

While Collier and Poitevent have been playing in the Florida Senior Games for over 10 years, they came together as partners in 2014.

“It’s amazing that we play so well together,” Collier said. “Considering we only play together when we compete at Local, State and National Senior Games events. Our matches improve as we get to know each other better on and off the court.”

Since 2006, Collier and Poitevent have combined to win 17 Florida Senior Games gold medals.

Also winning women’s doubles gold medals were Diane Stablein, of The Villages, and Val Elvin, from Leesburg, in the 70-74 age group.

The Broward Heat Women’s Basketball team won two gold medals in the 50%2B and 60%2B age groups on the final day of basketball competition.

It was the first gold medal for five members of the 60%2B team who have been playing in the National Senior Games since 2013. The Heat breezed through the Championship bracket, winning all three of the games, on the way to the gold medal, by 12 points or more.

The 50%2B team was forced into an ”if necessary,” game following a four-point loss to Luv & Basketball, from Michigan. The Heat rebounded to win the final game 50-29.

“I told them between games to trust the process and get rebounds,” said Heat Coach Ramona Edwards. “Rebounding leads to offense and scoring points.”

Both Heat teams won six of seven games over three days en route to their gold medals.

The 2023 National Senior Games comes to a conclusion on Tuesday. It was recently announced Des Moines, Iowa will host the 2025 National Senior Games. The 2024 Florida Senior Games, to be held in Florida’s Sports Coast/Pasco County, will be a qualifier for the 2025 National Senior Games.

The 2023 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, will be held December 1-10, in Florida’s Sports Coast/Pasco County.  Registration is scheduled to be open for the 2023 Games early in August.

Visit www.nsga.com for results from the 2023 National Senior Games.

Since 2001, nearly 8,000 Florida athletes have registered to compete in the National Senior Games and regularly ranks in the top five of state representation of athletes.