Posts tagged “athletic tourism

Rescheduled summer sports events can help us recover

By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager

What does a sports event or tournament look like in the era of COVID-19? As participants, coaches, and spectators, we’ll soon find out.

Through his executive orders, Gov. Greg Abbott has paved the way for adult and youth sports competitions to begin. The City of College Station will host its first tournament June 19-21 with more than 100 girls’ softball teams from around the state.

The challenges of recent months have led us to this point. Typically, our tournament season ramps up in April and runs through the end of July. Since the pandemic began, our goal has been to bring tourism back to College Station while maintaining the safety of our citizens, guests, and staff.

Our department has had exhaustive meetings with local health officials and tournament organizers to ensure safety guidelines and protocols laid out by the governor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are met or exceeded. The city is responsible for cleaning and maintaining our facilities, while tournament organizers will provide city-approved safety guidelines and protocols for participants and spectators.

In March, we halted eight tournaments slated to bring about 400 teams to town. Our team worked diligently to reschedule several of the events, allowing us to keep about 300 teams. Along with three new tournaments — attracting about 150 teams — we maintained millions of dollars of economic impact in our community.

Here’s a look at our summer schedule:

  • June 19-21 — Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
  • June 27-28 — Tournament of Champions 7v7 Football
  • June 27-28 — USSSA Budweiser Invitational
  • June 30-July 3 — Battle for Texas 7v7 Football
  • July 7-12 — SSUSA Senior Softball
  • July 11-12 —The Summer Games 2020
  • July 17-19 — Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
  • Aug. 1-2 — The Summer Games 2020
  • Aug. 29-30 — Aggieland Friendship Cup

We’ll continue to adapt to the evolving situation by adjusting our operations. Our overriding mission is to safely bring customers to town while helping our residents and businesses recover.

 


About the Blogger

Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 13 years and is in his third year as the athletics and tourism manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from Texas A&M in 2008.


 

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Hospitality, venues drive thriving sports tourism industry

By Katie Kwiatkowski, Tourism Events Supervisor

People around the country recognize College Station as a special place filled with friendly, hospitable people and top-notch sports facilities. Those factors are the cornerstones as we attract well-attended, high-caliber events that substantially impact on our local economy.

College Station has become such a desired destination for sports tournaments that we see many events return year after year. In 2019, events we hosted attracted about 27,000 participants and recorded an overall attendance of more than 67,000.

We’ll host multiple events in the spring, including football, soccer, and softball. The frequent rain we experience each spring makes us appreciate the four synthetic multi-purpose fields at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Thanks to that worthy investment, we can accommodate sizable events even when bad weather rolls in.

Summertime is always our busiest sports tourism season. This year, we’ll host our most prominent football events in June with the Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase, Adidas Texas State 7v7 Championships, and PrimeTime Sports 7v7 Tournament of Champions. Softball and soccer tournaments will follow as we move into July and August.

In the fall, we’ll host bocce, softball, and soccer tournaments — most of which are recurring events — before we wrap up the year with the 10th Annual BCS Marathon.

Here’s a look at our complete list of tourism events for 2020:

2020 Sports Tourism Schedule

Jan. 18-19 Brazos Valley Elite Sports Group
Jan. 25-26 Brazos Valley Cavalry Tournament
Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 Soccer Youth All-American Series
Feb. 9 ODP Pool Training
Feb. 15-16 Premier Soccer Spring Cup
Feb. 20-22 NFCA Texas Leadoff Classic
Feb. 29 – March 1 Aggie Classic – NTFCA
March 14-15 USSSA “What’s Your Legacy?” (Aggieland Classic)
March 26-29 SPA Salute to Veterans NIT Tournament
April 25-26 5 Tool Spring Battle Tournament
May 1-3 USSSA Budweiser Invitational
May 16-17 US Club Cup
May 23-25 STYSA State Cup
June 6-7 Texas Youth 7v7 State Championships
June 12-14/19-21 Texas State Championships and Southwest Regional Showcase
June 25-27 Adidas State 7v7 Championships
June 27-28 Primetime Sports 7v7 Tournament of Champions
July 9-12 Aggieland Classic SSUSA
Aug. 29-30 Aggieland Friendship Cup
Sept. 25-27 College Station Senior Games
Oct. 1-3 Special Olympics Fall Classic
Oct. 16-18 USSSA Budweiser Invitational
Dec. 5-6 Southampton Cup – Texas
Dec. 11-13 ODP: South Texas Regional Tournament
Dec. 12-13 BCS Marathon

With your valuable support, we can continue to attract significant events such as these to our growing community to fill our hotels, restaurants, and retail shops. When that happens, our entire community benefits.

 


About the Blogger

Tourism Events Supervisor Katie Kwiatkowski joined the Parks and Recreation Department last summer. She previously served as sports services manager at BCS Sports + Events. A native of Brenham, Katie earned a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

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Jingle Bell Fun Run celebrates 30th year on Dec. 8

By Gene Ballew, Athletics & Tourism Manager

The Jingle Bell Fun Run is a fun run in its truest sense. The two-mile race isn’t timed and is intended to be a fun way to kick off the annual B-CS Christmas Parade.

Sunday, Dec. 8 marks the 30th anniversary of the Jingle Bell Fun Run and is an ideal opportunity to mark “competing in a fun run” off your bucket list. The event starts at 2:15 p.m., followed by the parade at 3 p.m.

The run starts at the corner of University Drive and South College Avenue and ends at the corner of Texas and Elm Avenue. We’ll have a shuttle waiting for you at the end of the route and, knowing how much dogs enjoy a brisk jaunt, they’re welcome, too.

To commemorate the run’s anniversary, we’ll feature more swag to complement your jingle bells and t-shirt so you can run (or walk) down Texas Avenue in style. The entry fee is only $15 and includes a shirt if you register by Nov. 17. The fee is $20 during the Nov. 18-24 late registration period, but you aren’t guaranteed a shirt.

Packet pick-up is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Dec. 4 and from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Beachy Central Park Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Road. For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

Join us as we celebrate 30 years of the fabulous Jingle Bell Fun Run. See you at the finish line!

 


About the Blogger

Gene Ballew has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 12 years and is in his second year as the athletics and tourism manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from Texas A&M in 2008.


 

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Games of Texas benefit BCS by a cool $8.1 million

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The final numbers are in for the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas. The Olympic-like festival attracted 8,461 athletes from across the state to compete in a dozen events from July 25-29.

Only 130 participants were from College Station, which means the rest – along with about 20,000 of their coaches, family members, and friends – were visitors who dropped an estimated $8.1 million into the local economy by filling local restaurants and hotels.

Participants by Sport

Event Participants Venue
Archery 49 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Boxing 114 Hilton College Station & Conference Center
Flag Football 276 Veterans Park & Athletic Complex
Judo 57 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Golf 65 The City Course at Phillips Event Center
Lifeguard Competition 60 Adamson Lagoon
Pickleball 92 Lincoln Recreation Center
Skateboarding 21 Williamson Skate Park
Swimming 2,638 Texas A&M Student Recreation Center
Track & Field 4,459 College Station High School
Ultimate Frisbee 440 Bryan Regional Athletic Complex
Tennis 190 Bryan High School, Texas A&M Mitchell TennisCenter, Texas A&M Omar Instructional Tennis Center, Phillips Event Center
Total Participants 8,461

Here are some interesting tidbits reported by the Bryan and College Station Parks and Recreation Departments, which partnered with Texas A&M to manage the event:

  • Athletes set 53 Games of Texas records — 42 in swimming and 11 in track and field.
  • Participants and volunteers consumed 38,304 bottles of water and used 27,160 pounds of ice.
  • Local sponsors donated 1,185 meals for participants and volunteers.
  • 162 volunteers assisted, including 44 from the Texas Army National Guard.
  • 331 tennis matches were played over three days.
  • 37 boxing bouts were conducted, four involving girls.
  • The lowest golf 18-hole single round score was a 74 by 17-year-old Ethan Galvan from McAllen. Ethan also had the lowest 36-hole tournament score of 74-82=156.

College Station played host for the seventh time after hosting previous events in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2014, 2015, and 2018. The Games of Texas will move to Corpus Christi for the next two years and to Brownsville in 2022-23.

Local GOT Participation by Year 

2019: 8,461

2018: 7,621

2015: 7,750

2014: 8,438

On behalf of the Cities of College Station and Bryan, we extend a special thank you to our volunteers, TAAF liaisons, commissioners and Texas Army National Guard Warriors. The overwhelming success of the event is a direct reflection of your dedication. We sincerely appreciate your gift of time, energy, and enthusiastic support.

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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400 athletes reach for gold at CS Senior Games

UPDATE (2/21): Due to expected poor weather conditions, the cycling event has been canceled. 

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Some senior athletes come out for the camaraderie, while others come to socialize and catch up with old friends. Others just come to experience the thrill of victory.

More than 400 athletes between the ages of 49-89 will go for the gold in the College Station Senior Games from Friday through Sunday at venues across our community. Participants include 345 visitors from outside B-CS and 117 women.  About 240 volunteers — mostly Texas A&M students — will help manage the event. (more…)


Senior Games give older athletes a fun way to compete

By Gabriela Salazar, Tourism Events Supervisor

Each year, the College Station Senior Games attracts competitors 50 and older from across Texas and as far away as Los Angeles. We had 410 athletes compete in 2018, including 339 from outside of Bryan-College Station.

We are thrilled so many visitors want to compete in College Station, but we also encourage local seniors to seize the hometown advantage. You don’t have to be an Olympic-caliber athlete, although the Games have featured former Olympians such as Jim Gerhardt, who competed in the triple jump in the 1952 Olympics.

The 2019 Senior Games are set for Feb. 22-24 and offer multiple events for athletes of all skill levels. The $30 participation fee includes a shirt and access to a social gathering, with additional fees charged for each event. The registration deadline is Feb. 11. (more…)


Games of Texas drops $7.7 million into community

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Whenever you play host to a large-scale event that attracts thousands of visitors, you expect it to have a substantial impact on the local economy.

From July 26-30, 7,621 athletes from across the state competed in 11 sports in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas. The Olympic-like festival had only 225 local participants, which means the rest – along with about 19,000 of their coaches, family members, and friends – were visitors staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, and shopping in our stores.

The estimated economic impact of all that activity? A cool $7.7 million.

Despite hot weather conditions, the games’ spirit and atmosphere thrived, thanks to hundreds of volunteers and the wholehearted support of our community. We heard scores of positive comments, with many participants saying this was the best Games of Texas to date.

Photos: 2018 TAAF Games of Texas

Here’s the breakdown of participants by sport:

Sport Participants Venue
Archery 52 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Judo 81 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Golf 58 The City Course at Phillips Event Center
Lifeguard Competition 60 Bryan Aquatic Center
Pickleball 77 Lincoln Recreation Center
Sand Volleyball 40 Texas A&M Student Recreation Center
Skateboarding 19 Williamson Skate Park
Soccer 304 Veterans Park & Athletic Complex
Swimming 2,472 Texas A&M Student Recreation Center
Tennis 152 Texas A&M Mitchell Tennis Center
Track & Field 4,306 College Station High School
Total Participation 7,621

Here are some interesting tidbits reported by the Bryan and College Station Parks and Recreation Departments, which partnered with Texas A&M to manage the event:

  • Athletes set 72 Games of Texas records.
  • Participants and volunteers consumed 22,000 bottles of water and used 32,120 pounds of ice.
  • Local sponsors donated 1,165 meals for participants and volunteers.
  • 328 volunteers assisted, including 93 from the Texas Army National Guard.
  • 390 gold medals were awarded in track & field and swimming.
  • 271 tennis matches were played over two days.

If you missed out on the fun, don’t fret. The Games of Texas will return to Bryan-College Station July 25-29, 2019.

On behalf of the Cities of Bryan and College Station, we extend a special thank you to our volunteers, TAAF liaisons, commissioners and Texas Army National Guard Warriors. The overwhelming success of the event is a direct reflection of your dedication. We sincerely appreciate your gift of time, energy, and enthusiastic support.

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 14 years, the last seven as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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This week’s Games of Texas to attract thousands

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

No, the fall semester is not starting a month early.

In fact, students have nothing to do with the thousands of people pouring into Bryan-College Station this week. Blame this friendly invasion on archery, golf, judo, lifeguard competition, pickleball, sand volleyball, skateboarding, soccer, swimming, tennis, and track field.

Those 11 sports comprise the 2018 Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas, which will be conducted Thursday through Monday at venues across College Station and Bryan. The Olympic-like festival features more than 7,000 amateur athletes of all ages from across the state competing in multiple sporting events, mostly in swimming and track and field.

Admission is free at all events except for swimming and track and field. Daily tickets are $7 for swimming and $5 for track and field. Credit cards will be accepted only at swimming.

The City of College Station, in collaboration with the City of Bryan and Texas A&M, is playing host for the sixth time after conducting the event in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2014, and 2015. We’ll be the host city again next year. The 2015 Summer Games of Texas attracted more than 20,000 athletes, coaches, families, and volunteers who registered an estimated economic impact of about $7.5 million.

We invite you to help us welcome our visitors at the opening ceremonies Friday at the Wolf Pen Creek Festival Site. The parade of athletes begins at 6:30 p.m. led by the Prairie View A&M University Drum Line and ending with Team Fastrax, a skydiving and pyrotechnic team.

Traffic Delays and Facility Closures

  • All College Station Parks and Recreation facilities except the Larry J. Ringer Library will be closed Thursday through Sunday.
  • Expect delays around College Station High School from Thursday through Sunday. Lanes will be minimized to accommodate parking.
  • Holleman Drive from Dartmouth Street to the former Sears Service Center parking lot will be closed Friday from 4-9 p.m.

You may follow the Games of Texas on facebook.com/taafnation. For more information, visit taaf.com/gamesoftexas or call 979-764-3486.

Related Links:

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 14 years, the last seven as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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Competitive spirit attracts 400 senior athletes to town

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The competitive hearts of athletes have been on full display this month at the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. Watching on television is a thrill, but witnessing the competition in person must be spectacular.

While we can’t offer the Olympics, we can offer the same spirit of competition at the College Station Senior Games Friday through Sunday at venues across our community. Admission is free.

A total of 410 athletes between the ages of 49-93 are competing, including 339 out-of-towners and 156 women. A total of 198 volunteers — mostly Texas A&M students — will help us orchestrate the event.

Notable Participants

  • Swimmer Baker Lee Shannon of Houston is the oldest male athlete at the age of 93 years and nine months. He is competing in the 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.
  • Distance runner Barbara Chenette of Crockett is the oldest female athlete at the age of 83 years and three months. She is competing in the 5K.
  • Track & field athlete Michael McDavid of Buchanan Dam is competing in the most events at 13, including the discus, shot put, javelin, long jump, high jump, 50m, 3000m RW, 100m, 800m, 200m, 1500m RW, 400m, 1500m.
  • Frank Hershman of Surrey, British Columbia traveled 2,364 miles to compete. Other out-of-state athletes represent Louisiana and Minnesota.
  • Former Olympian Jim Gerhardt of Houston is competing in his fourth Brazos Valley Senior Games. He placed 11th in the triple jump at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. Gerhardt will participate in the discus, hammer throw, javelin, and shot put.

Participants by Sport

13

5K Road Race

3

10K Road Race

4 teams

Basketball

12

Free Throws

13

Basketball Skills

55

Bowling

31

Cornhole

68

Cycling

11

Disc Golf

17

Golf

124

Pickleball

23

Swimming

15

Table Tennis

90

Track & Field

15

Tennis

The College Station Senior Games couldn’t happen without our generous sponsors. We offer our sincere thanks to Brazos Valley EMS, Integrity Urgent Care, Lifespan Cognitive & Motor Neuroimaging Laboratory, Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity, Center for Population Health and Aging, Area Agency on Aging, Piranha Fitness and Mad Taco.

As we age, many of us are content to spectate rather than participate. But for some, an innate desire for competition doesn’t allow them to surrender to time. We invite you to check out the action for yourself!

For more information, visit cstx.gov/seniorgames or call 979-764-3486.


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has worked for the Parks & Recreation Department for 14 years, the last seven as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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Feed your hunger to compete at the 2018 Senior Games

By Gabby Salazar, Tourism Events Supervisor

When you used to think of senior citizens, you probably pictured older adults who were largely inactive, at least in a physical sense. But as the baby boom generation has grown older, that stereotype has changed significantly.

More of today’s seniors tend to be active, social, and vibrant folks who still enjoy physical activities and competition.

The College Station Senior Games was created for these not-so-over-the-hill competitors, offering athletes 50 years-and-older a choice of 14 activities at venues throughout our community. The 2018 games are set for Feb. 23-25, and the registration deadline is Feb. 12.

Events include track and field, swimming, cycling, golf, 5K run, 10K run, bowling, pickleball, disc golf, table tennis, tennis, 3-on-3 basketball, cornhole, and basketball skills. We’re also introducing a recumbent division to the cycling event.

Participants compete in nine age divisions, with team sports divided into three age brackets. Partner and team groups are determined by the age of the youngest partner or team member.

The $30 participation fee includes a shirt and two reception tickets with an additional fee per event. For more information and to register, go to cstx.gov/SeniorGames.

At the age of 91 years and nine months, swimmer Baker Lee Shannon of Houston was the oldest male athlete in 2017. Baker competed in the 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, 50-meter freestyle, and 100-meter freestyle. Barbara Chenette of Crockett competed in the 5K run and was the oldest female athlete at the age of 81 years and three months.

Photos: A Look back at the 2017 Senior Games

The College Station Senior Games have developed into a respected event that attracts hundreds of participants from as far away as Los Angeles. The success of the local games has even led to our Parks & Recreation Department being named to the state and national senior games board of directors.

If you’re over 50 and still yearn to engage in spirited competition, sign up for the College Station Senior Games today!

 


About the Blogger

Tourism Events Supervisor Gabby Salazar is in her third year with the City of College Station. Before joining the city staff, she was the night manager at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena. A product of A&M’s sports management program, Gabby earned her bachelor’s degree in 2014 and is working toward her master’s. A native of Alamo, she was also a member of the Aggies’ nationally-ranked track and cross country teams.


 

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Veterans Park complex rated as top 10 sports venue

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager  

Athletes, coaches, and spectators have long considered College Station’s Veterans Park & Athletic Complex to be a premier venue for local, regional and national tournaments.

They aren’t alone.

SportsEvents, a prestigious trade magazine in the sports tourism industry, wholeheartedly agrees.

The publication has named Veterans Park as one of the top 10 multi-use facilities in the country for exceeding expectations and offering a memorable experience. The rankings will appear in the magazine’s June issue.

“Sports events planners find multi-use sports facilities to be a top choice for their events,” SportsEvents Managing Editor Sherri Middleton said. “Multi-use complexes and facilities not only provide a range of fields and courts to host a variety of sports, but many facilities also take it a step further by offering everything a planner could need from a friendly and accommodating staff to upgraded state-of-the-art amenities and more.”

The top 10 facilities (in alphabetical order by location):

  • Blaine, Minn. – National Sports Center
  • College Station, Texas – Veterans Park & Athletic Complex
  • Frederica, Del. – DE Turf Sports Complex
  • Gatlinburg, Tenn. – Rocky Top Sports World
  • Little River, S.C. – North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex
  • Manheim, Pa. – Spooky Nook Sports
  • Mansfield, Texas – Fieldhouse USA Mansfield
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Myrtle Beach Sports Center
  • Westfield, – Grand Park Sports Campus
  • Wichita, Kan. – Wichita Sports Forum

None of this happened by chance.

The fact that our peers and event participants selected Veterans Park & Athletic Complex proves we have established a winning formula that will continue to pay dividends well beyond the hundreds of events we’ve hosted in recent years.

This year alone, we’ve scheduled 30 events – including U.S. Quidditch and USA Archery – that are expected to attract some 35,000 participants. That number doesn’t even include the family members and friends who will come along to watch.

The level of service our parks employees provide, along with the quality of maintenance by our parks and recreation staff, helps set College Station and Veterans Park & Athletic Complex apart. Our success is also a direct result of the strong partnerships we’ve developed throughout our community.

While we’re proud of the high national ranking, we’re far from content.

Sports tourism is a highly competitive industry, and we continually work to enhance the quality of our services. With plans to add two more synthetic fields with lights – giving us 13 multi-purpose rectangle fields and five softball fields – we’ll be able to attract more and larger events in the future.

 


About the Blogger

J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. His extensive experience in sports and tourism includes stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


 

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Senior Games prove age doesn’t have to be a limitation

sg17-banner-72x96

By Hallie Kutch, Marketing Staff Assistant

Olympic great Jackie Joyner-Kersee once said “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.”

Joyner-Kersee knows a little about persevering over perceived limitations. She overcame severe asthma to become arguably the greatest female athlete of all time. The world record Joyner-Kersee set in the heptathlon at the 1988 Olympics still stands.

When she says age isn’t a limitation, she means it.

16599461806_0066f537cb_oThat philosophy will be on full display Friday through Sunday when 400 dedicated athletes will compete in the Brazos Valley Senior Games at venues across Bryan-College Station. Admission is free. Click here for a schedule of events

The 50 years-and-older participants will face off in track and field, swimming, basketball, cycling, golf, 5K run, bowling, horseshoes, pickleball, disc golf, washers, table tennis, tennis, 3-on-3 basketball, cornhole and basketball skills. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in each event and age group.

Photos: 2016 Brazos Valley Senior Games, 2015 Brazos Valley Senior Games

These athletes seek competition to prove that health and fitness don’t have an age limit. Driven with purpose and dedication, they’ve dismissed boundaries and prove that athleticism and passion don’t have to fade as the years pass.

Here are a few of the fierce athletes who will be competing this weekend:

  • Baker Lee Shannon of Houston is the oldest male athlete at the age of 91 years and nine months. He is competing in four swimming events – 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.
  • Barbara Chenette of Crockett is the oldest female athlete at the age of 81 years and three months. She is competing in the 5K run.
  • Michael McDavid of Buchanan Dam is competing in 16 events – all in track & field – more than any other participant.
  • Joe Durrenberger of Los Angeles traveled 1,484 miles to compete in four track & field events – discus, hammer throw, javelin and shot put. Durrenberger was a standout basketball player at Rice in the mid-1950s, setting a Southwest Conference record with 30 rebounds against Baylor in 1956 (with 32 points). He’s also an actor who has appeared in several movies and television series, including Everybody Loves Raymond.
  • Jim Gerhardt of Houston, a 1952 Olympian, will compete in his fifth Brazos Valley Senior Games. He’ll participate in four track & field events — the discus, hammer throw, javelin, and shot put. Gerhardt placed 11th in the triple jump at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. He and Durrenberger are members of the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame.
  • Joe Barger of Austin will compete in seven track events – 50M, 100M, 200M, 400M, 800M, 1500M and 5K run. The 91-year-old is a survivor of the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
  • DeEtte Sauer of Houston will compete in five swimming events – 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 100 individual medley. Sauer has won 50 swimming medals in various local, regional and national senior games and is a member of the Texas Senior Olympics Hall of Fame.

Facts & Figures

  • Total Athletes: 400 (268 men, 132 women)
  • States Represented: 5 (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and California)
  • Brazos Valley Athletes: 57
  • Out-of-Town Athletes: 343
  • Volunteers: 140

Participants by Sport

  • 5K Run: 27
  • Basketball: 6 teams
  • Basketball Free Throws: 18
  • Basketball Skills: 16
  • Bowling: 37
  • Cycling: 41
  • Cornhole: 16
  • Disc Golf: 7
  • Golf: 29
  • Horseshoes: 16
  • Pickleball: 110
  • Swimming: 23
  • Table Tennis: 17
  • Tennis: 14
  • Track & Field: 92
  • Washers: 13

This event couldn’t happen without our generous sponsors. We offer our sincere thank you to the Brazos Valley Council of Governments, CHI St. Joseph Health, Innovative Fitness, KIND Snacks, Piranha Fitness Studios, Pita Pit, Signature Care, and Waldenbrooke Estates.

Need proof that age doesn’t have to be a limitation? Pick your favorite sport and venture out to watch these inspiring athletes compete this weekend.

 


 

312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her second year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

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Quidditch event attracts 21 teams to town this weekend

Texas A&M Quidditch team members pose for a photo. The team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship hosted at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, Texas, Feb. 18-19. Photo source: www.facebook.com/texasamquidditch/

The Texas A&M Quidditch team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Photo source: Facebook.

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

Now that our Super Bowl buzz is finally wearing off, College Station is turning its focus to a lesser known sport – Quidditch. And it’s for the same reason Houston and every other major city in America want to host Super Bowls.

The almighty dollar.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex will host the 2017 U.S. Quidditch Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday, bringing in 21 teams from five different states. It’ll be the first major Quidditch event hosted at a City of College Station facility, and we hope it won’t be the last. Admission is free.

Super Bowl tourism in perspective

Houston reportedly welcomed more than 1.3 million guests for the Super Bowl weekend, with economic impact estimates as high as $350 million for the entire metro. For one weekend, that’s pretty mind blowing.

But Houston couldn’t do it alone.

The state’s event trust fund paid $25.4 million to help build up to the big game, and Houston was asked to guarantee an impressive array of complimentary services. When Dallas bid for the 2011 Super Bowl, the trust fund awarded $32.1 million, and the city pooled its vast resources to win over the National Football League.

What does this mean for College Station?

Although College Station will never host a Super Bowl, Texas A&M’s collegiate events are the Super Bowl equivalent to our local economy. According to a recent study by A&M’s Division of Finance and Administration, Aggie sporting events and related campus activities attracted 1.3 million visitors and $385 million to the regional economy in 2013. The numbers for 2016 likely exceed those estimates.

The City of College Station and Bryan College Station Sports & Events capture bids on a variety of sporting events each year that add significant value to our community. The successful bid to host our first U.S. Quidditch regional will not only spur the weekend economy, but it could also lead to additional opportunities for us to host more Quidditch tournaments.

We expect the event to attract about 300 visitors who will spend money for two days on local hotel rooms, food, and entertainment.

How do we land these events?

College Station competes with other cities to host these types of events and the economic benefits they bring. But like Houston, we can’t do it alone.

The U.S. Quidditch bid manual describes what the organization typically asks of a host community in incentives and services. While it’s no Super Bowl request, it requires host communities to commit a significant level of time and resources.

The Parks and Recreation Department and Bryan College Station Sports & Events leveraged the Texas A&M Quidditch team’s participation in national and regional competitions to assemble our pitch.

Supporting new business for local hoteliers, retailers, and restaurateurs is what drives this effort, and Quidditch is certainly not the first successful pitch we’ve had. Here are a few other notable visitor-based events hosted by College Station thanks to winning bids submitted by our dedicated Parks and CVB sports event managers:

When it’s all said and done, these events will have attracted more than 50,000 visitors who injected $20-25 million into our local economy.

Free Quidditch youth clinic

Still not sure what to think? Come out to Veterans Park and Athletic Complex on Saturday or Sunday and see what sports tourism looks like in action.

As a friendly gesture to fans and curious onlookers, U.S. Quidditch will conduct a free clinic on Quidditch Field 3 to teach kids and young adults about the sport. The clinics will last about an hour and a half and will start at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday.

They’ll provide the equipment, too, so no need to bring your broomstick.

We’ll see you this weekend at Veterans Park!

Source: U.S. Quidditch

Graphic: U.S. Quidditch

 


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAPXAAAAJDIzZWZlOWYzLTkyMmQtNDkxOS1iMDk0LTAyM2NjMTA1MDFmYwAbout the Author

J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. His extensive experience in sports and tourism includes stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


 

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Sports tourism success continues with full calendar

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By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

A couple of years ago, the City of College Station made a decision that would not only shape the direction of its Parks and Recreation Department but the way people outside our community see us as a tourism destination.

College Station’s city management made the commitment to emphasize tourism as a way for our community to display what we locals already knew — College Station is a great place to visit and live. We joined forces with the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Bryan, Texas A&M and local citizen-run organizations to completely transform our sports tourism landscape.

In 2016, the City of College Station will host 67 athletic events with a summer schedule that includes five state championships, three regional championships, and one national championship.

Our push for more state, regional and national events has already paid dividends as we’ve secured the 2018-19 TAAF Games of Texas and the 2016 American Softball Association’s 16-and-Under National Championship.

We’ll also play host to the 2016 U.S. Youth Soccer Region III Presidents Cup, which will bring in more than 130 of the best soccer teams from 12 states for six days in June. It’s been a dozen years since a Presidents Cup regional was contested in Texas and it’s never been held in College Station.

In other words, it’s a big deal. These are huge events that will attract tens of thousands of participants and their supporters to our community.

Join us this summer as we welcome the thousands of visitors to Aggieland!

2016 Summer Tournament Schedule 

May 21-22 U.S. Club Soccer Cup
May 28-29 USSSA Baseball
June 4-5 USSSA Baseball
June 4-5 ASA Softball
June 10-12 IFA/VTD GFP State Softball
June 14-19 U.S. Youth Soccer President’s Cup
June 25-26 Primetime Sports 7v7 Football
July 7-9 Texas State 7v7 Football
July 8-9 TAAF Track & Field Regionals
July 11-15 Texas Soccer Academy
July 16 Jerrod Johnson Camp, 7v7 Football
July 21-24 Aggieland SSUSA Softball
July 23-24 NUC Sports
July 30-31 PB&J Ultimate Frisbee
Aug. 1-7 ASA/USA 16U Softball Championship
Aug. 12-13 USSSA Baseball
Aug. 27-28 Aggieland Friendship Cup

 

 


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAPXAAAAJDIzZWZlOWYzLTkyMmQtNDkxOS1iMDk0LTAyM2NjMTA1MDFmYwAbout the Author

J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. His extensive experience in sports and tourism includes stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned both his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


 

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Hundreds descend on BCS for Senior Games

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By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The ESPN College GameDay Basketball program will be making it first visit to Texas A&M on Saturday, but that’s not the only sports highlight in College Station this weekend.

A total of 441 athletes between the ages of 49-90 are competing in the Brazos Valley Senior Games from Thursday through Sunday at venues across Bryan-College Station. Among the competitors are 372 out-of-towners — including one from North Carolina — and 141 women.

The Brazos Valley Senior Games is another shining example of the city’s growing presence in the sports tourism industry, which has become a significant economic driver in our community.

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Feb. 11)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Feb. 11. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:27 p.m.

The workshop has started.

5:35 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for workshop discussion:

  • Lick Creek Nature Center: The council will consider a $2.1 million contract with JaCody, Inc., for the construction of the Lick Creek Nature Center approved by voters in 2008. The design was finalized in 2014, but construction was delayed until an adequate water line could be installed for fire protection. The project, which also includes extensive site improvements and landscaping, is expected to be finished this fall.

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6:03 p.m. (more…)


5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Sports Tourism: In the workshop, the council will hear a presentation from the B-CS Convention and Visitor’s Bureau on a consultant’s report addressing the area’s existing and future sports tourism industry.
  2. Lick Creek Nature Center: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $2.1 million construction contract for the Lick Creek Nature Center in Lick Creek Park. The project was approved by voters in 2008.
  3. Recycling Agreement: The council will consider the final reading of a franchise agreement with Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling for collecting recyclables from businesses and apartment complexes.
  4. Victoria-Fitch Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to rezone about 20 acres northeast of the Fitch Parkway-Victoria Avenue intersection. The proposal would revise the allowed commercial uses and increase the number of multi-family structures.
  5. Graham-Longmire Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to rezone about 11 acres near the southwest corner of the Graham Road-Longmire Drive intersection to allow the development of townhomes, duplexes and apartments.

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Senior Games encourage athletes to embrace golden years

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

SG16-Ad-Facebook2When most of us think of athletes, we see exuberant young people with chiseled bodies pouring their hearts and souls into competition. That image is certainly on display in College Station through Texas A&M’s successful athletic teams.

As we age and our bodies start to ache, most of us are content to transition from participant to spectator. But for some brave and hearty souls, an innate desire for competition doesn’t allow them to surrender to the hands of time.

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Veterans Park and Athletic Complex Build-out: The council will hear a workshop presentation about Phase 1 of the Veterans Park and Athletic Complex Build-out. The $3.67 million project — funded with hotel tax revenues — would add two synthetic athletic fields, lighting, parking spaces, and other amenities.
  2. Special Presentations: Mayor Nancy Berry will proclaim October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month and Nov. 2-6 as Municipal Courts Week.
  3. Dominik Drive Sidewalks: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $66,000 contract for the construction of sidewalks on the south side of Dominik Drive between Stallings Drive and Munson Avenue. The project qualifies for a federal Community Development Block Grant.
  4. Comprehensive Plan/UDO Review: After a public hearing, the council will discuss the annual review of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Unified Development Ordinance.
  5. ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan: After a public hearing, the council will consider adopting the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan, which outlines how the city will improve accessibility for the physically challenged and fulfill federal requirements.

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Games of Texas drops $7.5 million into B-CS economy

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By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The final numbers are in for the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas. The Olympic-like festival featured 7,750 athletes from across the state competing in 12 events from July 30-Aug. 3.

Only 347 participants were from College Station, which means the rest – along with about 20,000 of their coaches, family members and friends – were visitors who dropped an estimated $7.5 million into the local economy. Local restaurants and hotels were filled to capacity.

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Thousands pour into B-CS for Games of Texas

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

No, the Texas A&M football season is not starting a month early.

In fact, football has nothing to do with the thousands of visitors pouring into Bryan-College Station this week. Blame this friendly invasion on archery, pickleball, judo, lifeguarding, boxing, golf, skateboarding, soccer, disc golf, swimming, tennis, and track and field.

14804728442_4f689c2e54_kThose 12 sports comprise the 2015 Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas, which will be conducted Thursday through Monday at venues across College Station and Bryan. The cities are joining forces with Texas A&M and the Convention and Visitors Bureau to host the event for the second straight year.

The 2014 Summer Games of Texas attracted more than 20,000 athletes, coaches, families and volunteers who registered an estimated economic impact of about $6 million.

The Olympic-like festival features more than 8,500 amateur athletes of all ages from across the state competing in multiple sporting events, mostly in swimming and track and field. The high level of competition resulted in 97 Games of Texas records set in 2014, including 64 in swimming and 33 in track and field.

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Games of Texas offers opportunities to compete, volunteer

By Lacey Lively, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator

Last summer, more than 8,400 amateur athletes from across the state descended on Bryan-College Station for four days of spirited Olympic-style competition in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Games of Texas.

Only 220 participants were from B-CS, which meant the rest – along with about 20,000 coaches, relatives and friends – were visitors who dropped an estimated $6 million into the local economy.

Games of Texas Medals

Photos: 2014 Games of Texas

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College Station welcomes rain-soaked soccer evacuees

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

Copyright: 123RF Stock PhotoWe’ve all seen images of the gut-wrenching devastation from the recent flooding across Texas, especially in the Sam Marcos and Wimberley areas. Many people lost their homes or worse, which makes disrupted sports events little more than trivial footnotes.

Still, when hundreds of kids have dedicated months of their lives to reach their championship tournament, you want to help.

Last week, the South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA) was hosting its 52-team state finals at 5-Mile Dam Park along the Blanco River in San Marcos. Only a few games were completed before the rain started, and the river began to rise. It became apparent that the tournament couldn’t continue — at least not there.

STYSA began seeking an alternate site to finish the event no later than June 7. When it reached out to the College Station Parks & Recreation Department about moving the tournament here, we had to move fast.

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Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

gavel[1]The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:  

  1. Comprehensive Annual Financial Report: The council will receive the city’s audit reports and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY14.
  2. Veterans Park and Athletic Complex Build-Out: The council will hear a presentation on the proposed build-out – phased or full – of Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Funded with hotel tax revenues, the project would include four new synthetic turf fields, lighting, additional parking, restrooms, locker rooms and other amenities to help attract large-scale tournaments and events.
  3. All-Way Stop at Lincoln and Tarrow: The council will consider implementing an all-way stop at the Lincoln Avenue-Tarrow Street intersection to improve safety and mobility for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
  4. Barron Road Drainage Improvements: The council will consider a $328,164 contract for roadway, sidewalk and drainage improvements on Barron Road between William D. Fitch Parkway and W.S. Phillips Parkway.
  5. Parking Removal on Kate Lane: The council will consider removing parking on one side of Kate Lane between Keefer Loop to Summerway Drive to allow access for emergency vehicles.

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