Key Takeaways:

In the vibrant world of senior sports, where age is no barrier to pursuing one's athletic passions, the Arch Rivals, a volleyball team from Missouri, have emerged as a force to be reckoned with. As the National Senior Games approach, the Arch Rivals are proudly representing their state, competing in the volleyball competitions for the 65-69 age group. With the generous sponsorship of GetSetUp, an online learning and discovery platform for older adults, the Arch Rivals are ready to showcase their skills and inspire others to embrace an active and fulfilling lifestyle.

The team's story began as a result of their shared love for volleyball and their presence in the St. Louis region. This year’s team is comprised of Captain Virginia Buckles, Linda McClanahan, Suzanne Watson, Kathy Harris, Terri Durand, Pat Dittmeier, Mary Czapla-Layton, and Patricia Clark. Each member of the Arch Rivals has played women's and coed volleyball together for many years, forming strong bonds of friendship and camaraderie. Over time, their team naturally fell into place, driven by a common passion for the sport and the desire to stay active and competitive.

The Arch Rivals have a rich history of participating in the National Senior Games. From Virginia, who has played in every National Senior Games since 2003, to Pat, Terri, Suzanne, Kathy, and Mary, who have all been part of this prestigious event for many years. The team brings a wealth of experience and achievements to the table. Each player has a collection of medals from past National Senior Games, underscoring their dedication and talent.

The Arch Rivals' success at the National Senior Games is a testament to their exceptional skills and competitive spirit. Virginia, the team's longest-serving member, boasts an impressive record of three golds, three silvers, and three bronzes, including a bronze from the Huntsman World Games. The rest of the team has also earned their fair share of medals, demonstrating their ability to perform at a high level of volleyball competition.

The Journey of the Arch Rivals to the National Senior Games

To qualify for the National Senior Games, the Arch Rivals, like many other senior athletes, must excel in their respective state games. Coming in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in the state games held in even years secures their eligibility to compete at the National Senior Games in the subsequent odd years. While there may have been residency requirements in the past, the team's representation is now determined by the home state of their captain.

The Arch Rivals comprise a remarkable group of individuals who have dedicated their lives to volleyball and maintaining an active lifestyle. Each player brings unique experiences and backgrounds to the team, contributing to their collective strength and unity.

Virginia, a passionate volleyball player since age 11, had a successful career as a college professor and researcher. Pat, with a volleyball journey dating back to age 10, has excelled as both a player and a coach. Mary, a multi-sport enthusiast and a survivor of bone deformities, embodies the spirit of perseverance. Suzanne, a former Post-Dispatch Scholar-Athlete, has left her mark in both dentistry and volleyball. Kathy, with over 45 years of volleyball experience, is known for her dedication as a co-director of a successful juniors’ select volleyball club. Terri's indomitable spirit shines through as she continues to play despite artificial hips, a knee replacement, and a repaired rotator cuff. Linda started playing in her early 20’s, in the sand and indoors. She has coached and played in national and international tournaments and can’t imagine not having volleyball in her life. The newest member of the team, Patricia, a retired anesthesiologist, has played volleyball since age 10 in CYO, with her Mom as her first coach. She plans to try to match her Mom’s record of playing volleyball til age 80! These players exemplify the true essence of athleticism and serve as an inspiration to all.

The Arch Rivals not only excel on the volleyball court but have also fostered deep friendships outside of the game. Beyond playing against younger teams in their leagues, they spend quality time together, enjoying activities such as lunch outings and trips to local wineries. Their bond extends beyond the sport, and they even embark on vacations together, where they can engage in their shared love for beach volleyball.

As the Arch Rivals proudly represent Missouri in the volleyball competitions at the National Senior Games, their partnership with GetSetUp provides crucial support and recognition. Through their dedication, talent, and resilience, the Arch Rivals demonstrate that age is no obstacle to pursuing one's athletic passions. Their journey serves as an inspiration for older adults everywhere, encouraging them to embrace an active and fulfilling lifestyle. 

Thanks to GetSetUp’s partnerships with health plans, many older adults in Missouri may have access to GetSetUp at no additional charge to them through their SilverSneakers membership. 

GetSetUp is sponsoring GetSetUp Athletes as an initiative designed to inspire and support older athletes by providing them with sponsorship and a platform to promote their passion for sports in order to empower their peers. GetSetUp Athletes are sponsored by GetSetUp, and the Arch Rivals team will receive an $875.00 stipend to cover their competition registration, along with a full GetSetUp branded kit for their sport. These athletes will be sharing their journeys and insights with the GetSetUp community as they promote healthy and active lifestyles.

Jun 15, 2023
GetSetUp Athlete

Classes by:

Liz Miller

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