Age: 52 & 51
Location: Las Cruces
One of the highlights of the 2002 New Mexico Senior Olympic State Games will be the women’s basketball competition. Watch for the Sparks, a family team in its first year of competition.
“Our family was very physical,” explained Terry Duran, a State Games competitor. “Dad tried to teach us to water-ski, he took us fishing, and we’d go swimming…. We’d eat dinner then Dad would take us to the dam.
Dad and Mom both played basketball with us at our home court.” Today, Terry, 52, is captain of the Sparks, Doña Ana’s only Senior Olympic women’s basketball team. Other members include her sisters, Angie Guerra and Katherine (Kathy) Soto, and cousins Emma Maese and Margaret Garcia Apodaca. Although this is the team’s first year together, they already long for more competition, so they should enjoy the rivalry in the 50-55 age bracket at the State Games.
“I love being physical. I love playing games,” Terry said.
At 51, her sister Kathy is also continuing a lifetime of competition. “I always took PE in school. I was with the Girls Athletic Association and was captain of the basketball and volleyball teams in high school,” Kathy recalled. She remembers frequently being pulled out of classes by coaches to substitute for missing team members of other sports as well as playing sports at home.
“Up until Dad suffered a stroke, [our family] played softball as a team. We had enough members,” she laughed.
Family centered sports are still important to her. “I have a 16 year old and I have to keep active. I like to be involved and play with him. It’s a way of keeping open communication and involvement with my son,” Kathy said. “My husband is very supportive. He is the one who has taught us a few plays.”
Kathy will compete in basketball, volleyball, and free throw at the State Games and would have entered more events but couldn’t schedule the time off from work.
“It’s really good for your health. I feel more energetic,” she said, adding, “It’s been a pleasure meeting new friends, older people and getting advice from them.”