When it comes to being a successful athlete, age has nothing to do with it.
Rider’s tennis team’s head coach, Ed Torres, has proven this through and through while still competing vigorously to this day at the age of 76.
“One thing, I am definitely proud of all of my accomplishments,” said Torres.
The coach took first place in this year’s N.J. Senior Olympics tennis competition for age bracket of the 75 and older athletes. With the gold, he earned the chance to compete in San Francisco next July in the National Senior Olympics.
The N.J. Senior Olympics are held every year, opened to any N.J. resident 50 years of age or older. Every other year, if an athlete obtains the gold or silver, he or she qualifies for the National Senior Games.
This year’s N.J. Senior Olympics were held at the Woodbridge Racket Club, in Woodbridge, N.J. The event consisted of 15 sports, ranging from track and field to swimming to archery to bowling.
In order to prepare for the event, Torres used his coaching skills with a lot of practice as well.
“I played all summer,” he said. “I played in tournaments and the week before the Olympics I played singles two or three times. I tried to play singles and mixed doubles along with two tournaments to prepare me.”
Torres is not a newcomer to the feeling of a victory in the Olympics since he has won in previous years, including the first year he joined the competition about 25 years ago.
“I felt very happy when I won this year,” he said. “I’ve won every year I’ve ever played in my age group so it wasn’t a new victory. But it still felt very good.”
While the tennis season is underway at Rider, Torres will have to await the next step in his athletic career.
“I will continue to practice my singles and doubles games next summer after the Rider season ends,” he said. “In May and June I’ll be playing a lot of practice matches and I’ll train like any college person does. If I don’t train it’s a lot harder because I’m older than student-athletes.”
In hopes of another victory, Torres looks forward to taking on the task at hand.
“I hope for a lot more victories, that’s all I can say,” Torres said. “I’ll work hard. I’ve always played hard, trained hard and I’ve always been competitive and enjoyed it.”