• October 20, 2014

Killingsworth excels as multisport athlete

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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:30 am

Frances Killingsworth has been a multisport athlete all her life and refuses to let her age slow her down.

Killingsworth, 75, was inducted in the Texas Senior Games Hall of Fame on April 5.

The San Antonio games marked her 20th year participating, and over the past two decades, she has taken home more than 80 medals in basketball, volleyball, track and pickleball.

“The Texas Senior Games Association is an enabling organization,” she said. “It enables us to lead lives of unbelievable activity and joy.”

Her nomination into the Hall of Fame caught her off guard.

“I had no idea my friends had written letters and nominated me,” she said, “This is a special honor and I never was ambitious to earn medals.”

During her high school days, she dominated the basketball court in Pottsville and in college, she played volleyball at Howard Payne University in Brownwood.

“I excelled in volleyball in part because I had a wonderful coach, Mary Starkey-Tatum,” she said.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, nominees must be a Texas resident for a minimum of 10 years, participate in the Senior Games for a minimum of seven years and be 60 or older.

Nominations must be made by someone other than a family member or relative, and an athlete cannot self nominate.

According to Senior Game officials, nominees must have shown “exceptional accomplishments or contributions to the success of the games and participate in activities that exemplify healthy living.”

Killingsworth said she has met many lifelong friends, both in and out of state, throughout her participation in the games. She traveled to many cities where she and her husband Kenneth have enjoyed taking in the scenery and experiencing many historic sites.

During her acceptance speech, she shared personal stories of triumph and friendship.

She may not have started the Heights pickleball team, but she did entice the players to take their show on the road.

“I am always recruiting, so I will say to those not yet competing, ‘Be fit, develop your skills, and remember that your eligibility goes on as long as you are able to enter,’” she said.

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