“You don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing.”

Karissa Schumacker

“You don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old when you  stop playing.”
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“You don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old when you  stop playing.”
“You don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old when you  stop playing.”
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“You don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old when you  stop playing.”


Jesse Kehres

Nationality: Madison, WI, US

On any warmish Midwestern day, 99 year old Jesse Kehres can be spotted riding his three wheeler all over the streets of Madison, Wisconsin. As an avid biker, golfer and bowler, Kehres is one of the longest and most treasured members of Madison’s Sports for Active Seniors Club. 

“SAS has been the most enjoyable entity in my life for the past 15 years. I think it gives an opportunity for companionship and a means to get out and mix with people” Jesse says. 

“I would rate tennis as my favorite, But I have to include biking because that's what I spend most of my time in. I particularly enjoy biking in a group. The past year or so I’ve switched to a tricycle and got a battery to assist. I wouldn’t have gotten it unless my daughter insisted.” Jesse chuckled.

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Although Jesse has had to make some adjustments to his games over the past couple years, nothing can keep him away from the sports he loves. “I would guess that when most people bowl, you look at the pins down there- I have trouble seeing them, but there’s arrows out on the front of the lane that the pro’s use to guide their bowl. So I do that, and it lets me bowl a higher score than my age.”

“From down in grade school somewhere I realized that whenever somebody wanted to play I was there and that hasn’t left me. I’ll emphasize that I am great at participation, but my actual performance is lacking. That’s the thing about SAS, none of us are going to be Olympic athletes in what we do, but it's the social aspect that's really important.” Jesse says. 

“SAS sort of takes older age as something special, I don’t feel very special- except that I’m 98, and I’ll be 99 in April so I’m closing in on 100.”  

But Jesse is not just special, he is extraordinary. He bakes fantastic blueberry pies, he hits the ball straight down the fairway, he entirely embodies Sports for Active Seniors slogan, “You don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing.”

This feature is written by GetSetUp Journalism Fellow Karissa Schumacker, student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

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