Posts tagged “athletic tourism

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

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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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