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Seniors Step Up! Humana & PPA Tour Showcase Older Generation Smashing the Competition

Author: PPA Tour | May 10, 2024

We all know that pickleball is for everyone. It’s inclusive, social and engaging. And the health benefits are obvious – from cardiovascular, mental health, and personal fitness, pickleball is a great way to breathe new health and vitality into your body

That’s one of the reasons Humana and the PPA Tour decided to join together to celebrate a sport that brings everyone together.

In case you missed it, the Humana Champions Showcase is a brand-new, dedicated series for our very-own senior amateur pickleball players occurring at four stops on the PPA Tour during the 2024 season. The Humana Champions Showcase highlights athletes 50 and older in the applicable skill divisions. Winners earn the Humana Showcase trophy as well as a gift card to Pickleball Central. Plus there’s also the benefit of great memories, new friends, and of course, bragging rights. 

The first two Humana Champions Showcases happened in Mesa, AZ at the Carvana Mesa Arizona Cup and in Austin, TX at the Veolia Austin Open. So far, 72 Humana Champions have been crowned. The next two events in the Showcase Series planned for this year are the CIBC Atlanta Slam (September 11-15) and the Guaranteed Rate Championships (October 10-13). 

So far, Robert Scharlach has been the oldest man to compete in the Humana Champions Showcase at 85 years of age (Carvana Mesa Arizona Cup: men’s doubles 3.5-4.0 70+). Camie Hildebrand has been the oldest female at age 81 and took a bronze medal this year (Carvana Mesa Arizona Cup: women’s doubles 3.0 60+). The highest rated player to take part in the Humana Champions Showcase was Keith Hower at 59 years old with a skill level of 5.215 (World Pickleball Ratings). There were 570 registrants for the Humana Champions Showcase series over the course of the PPA Tour’s two events in Arizona and Austin. Pickleball’s senior community continues to defy conventional stereotypes about athletic decline with age and transform pre- and post-retirement lifestyle expectations. They are an inspiration to all of us to get moving, follow your passions, and build a life worth living.

“Pickleball is a sport for all ages, and we are thrilled to partner with Humana to highlight and level up the experience for our most seasoned players,” said Dave Fleming, senior pro and the PPA Tour’s Lead Commentator. “Humana and the PPA Tour are changing the game and making the sport even more enjoyable for seniors, which we didn’t even think was possible!”

Humana and Fleming are releasing a “Celebration of Champions” series that highlights senior athletes, shares tips for a healthy lifestyle, and offers coaching to improve your pickleball game. These episodes will be released throughout the year as an extension of the Humana Champions Showcase.

To register to play in a Humana Champions Showcase event, visit the PPA Tour’s tournament offerings on Pickleball Brackets. From there, choose the CIBC Atlanta Slam or the Guaranteed Rate Championships and register for a Humana Champions Showcase bracket of your choice. If you’re looking to watch the pros, all the action from the PPA Tour can be streamed online at Pickleball TV, or you can buy a ticket to attend the fun in-person. If you’re on-site, don’t forget to come out and watch the senior players do their thing!

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