Ambassador Series - Meet Wayne Matthews,

by pickleballfun on Jan 1, 1970

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Ambassador Series - Wayne Matthews

Our 2019 Upper Cumberland Senior Olympics was a success, and planning for our 2020 senior games is already underway. We look for this to be the best year yet! If you have never participated in the Senior Olympics, you may be wondering what it is. The TN Senior Olympics is a multi-sport event specifically devoted to adults aged 50+, each sporting event is divided into age groups. Senior Olympics is composed of regional competitions held yearly in all US states.

The First Senior Olympics took place in 1987 and has since grown to be what it is today, attracting over 13,000 athletes and an abundant amount of volunteers nationwide. The Upper Cumberland had 303 competitors last year.

Every year these athletes inspire us with their drive and dedication to living a healthy and active life.

Wayne Matthews is one of our greatest Senior Olympic role models. Wayne and his wife Pam, former Floridians, moved to Tennessee in 2007. That January, the former owner of his home gave Wayne a quick intro to the sport of PickleBall, planting a seed which would awaken the slumbering athlete.

Within weeks of unpacking, Wayne met Joyce Lee at the Recreation Center where she handed him a paddle and gave him his first lesson. Within months he had grown to love the game, and abandoned his efforts to regain his previous skill in tennis. Within the next year Wayne’s passion for the sport grew into a vision for his community.

He became an employee at the Fairfield Glade Conference Center and began giving weekly lessons. The interest within our community grew, more and more residents, and time-share guests were participating. Due to his passion and incredible partners through the years, he has been able to share his love for the sport, and hundreds have benefitted.

Wayne competed in his first Senior Olympic event in 2007 and has been a great ambassador for the Senior Olympics since. At the age of 80, Wayne has been awarded 152 medals through the years. Don’t let his age fool you, this athlete does not allow his age to limit his skill.

Last year he competed in 17 district events, and is already planning to add more to that list for the 2020 district events. Nothing stops him! It has been an honor to have him a part of our district events. He is not only a great athlete but a true inspiration for all of his fellow Olympians always going out of his way to encourage others to press on, and is one of best volunteers when it comes to coordinating each event.

Wayne proves that age is no barrier, it’s a limitation you put on your mind!

If you are age 50+ and would like more information on how to get involved, feel free to contact Fair Park Senior Center to stay up to date. We would love to have you join us for the 2020 Upper Cumberland Senior Olympics. 931-484-7416