The St. James is coming and it is awesome! 

We’ve needed more indoor sports options for a long time. And now we are getting it.

The St James is 450,000 square feet of sports awesomeness. The St. James will provide a diverse and extensive combination of sports competition and training venues, transformative developmental programs and best-in-class coaching. Athletes and enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels can immerse themselves in an unprecedented variety of sports — from ice hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball to squash, golf, basketball, volleyball, swimming and more.

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TD Ameritrade: 10% of families spend more than $1,000 per month on youth sports

Parents are spending lots of money on their children’s sports activities. TD Ameritrade has released their newest survey and the results are detailed in an article from USA Today and the data is amazing.

Most American families (63%) spend anywhere from $100 to $499 per child each month on youth sports, TD Ameritrade found. Another 18% fork over $500 to $999 monthly. Roughly one in 10 (11%) spend $1,000 to $1,999. On the high end, 8% said they spend $2,000 per month or more, or $24,000-plus per year.

All that spending on sports crimps other parts of their lives, the survey found, with 55% saying they “cut back on entertainment,” 40% saying they “take fewer vacations,” and 23% admitting they have “cutback on money set aside for retirement.”

Take four minutes and read the whole article. I’ll post the full data when I track it down.

 

Youth sports driving sports tourism boom

Youth sports is driving a sports tourism boom. That boom is leading to more tournaments, building more sports complexes, and parents traveling more and more to get their kids to the games. Here’s an interesting piece from a recent HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumble that looks at this in more detail.

 

Nats partnership creates Pudge Rodriguez field

The Washington Nationals are not only a great baseball team, they are also a great community partner. They continue to invest in our community and to try and grow the impact of baseball.

Pudge Rodriguez may have played for a number of baseball teams, but the two years he spent playing for the Washington Nationals are seasons Nats fans won’t forget. Pudge was one of the leagues best catchers and evidence of that is his recent induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Nationals recently showed their continued commitment to our community and their respect for Rodriguez by investing in a baseball field in Annandale and naming it for their Hall of Famer. The Nationals Dream Foundation partnered with the Fairfax County Park Authority and took a rag tag field and turned it into a showcase with new turf, baselines that can accommodate 50/70, a new electronic score board, new fencing, covered dugouts, irrigation system, and upgraded batting cages. It’s a gem that players will enjoy on any afternoon or under the lights at night. Continue reading

FCPS goes with $50 activity fee on all participants

Got a great update on the school board’s fee debate and votes from the president of the Woodson Athletic Booster Club:

All,

I wanted to provide an update on yesterday’s School Board’s FY2018 Budget Vote regarding the proposed $100 athletic fee.

Last night, the School Board passed a $50 “extracurricular activities fee” versus the proposed $100 athletics fee.  This $50 activities fee is modeled on a similar annual, one-time fee used in Montgomery County.  It is not a per sport/per activity fee.  For example, if a student plays on 3 sports, belongs to an honor society, and is the member of 2 clubs, the student only pays FCPS a total of $50 for the year (not $300, which would be $50 for each of the six extracurricular activities).

During the meeting the School Board considered two motions put forth by Braddock District Representative Megan McLaughlin to address the proposed athletics fee.  The conversation was extensive and pointed at times, with several board members commenting it was not equitable to only impose a fee on student-athletes.  Various School Board members cited the letters and emails they received from the booster clubs and student-athlete families as well as the extensive funding provided by the booster organizations.  It was evident our communications resonated with some of the board members.  Continue reading

High School athletic boosters oppose participation fee

The Fairfax County School Board considers imposing a new participation fee on students who play high school sports. The fee would be similar to the one that was passed several years ago but soon eliminated. (After two years if memory serves.)

I’ve previously posted about the Athletic Council’s opposition to the fee. Now High School Athletic Booster clubs from around the county are voicing their opposition. Many of them have sent letters to the school board. As I get copies, I will post them here.

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Team Impact is awesome

I had never heard of Team Impact until the summer of 2016. It was then that I learned my daughter’s new lacrosse team had a young girl named Allie on it. Allie is a young girl with severe medical issues who was “recruited” to be a member of the Randolph-Macon Women’s Lacrosse team through Team Impact.

Team Impact “improves the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team.” To do this, Team Impact matches children and college teams. The child is “recruited” to join the college team. They go through a signing day and become part of the team.

Over the last year, I have watched this young, courageous child join her team at home games. I have watched her cheer and bring true joy to the hearts of everyone one of her teammates. And please don’t misunderstand me. She is their teammate. They spend time together on and off the field.

But it was a recent post from Allie’s mother that made me cry and proves how important Team Impact is and just how great sports can really be. Continue reading

Upgraded driving range at Burke Lake

This morning I was honored to MC and speak at the ribbon cutting of the dramatically upgraded driving range at Burke Lake. I was joined by Supervisor Pat Herrity, fellow Park Authority board members Mary Cortina (at-large) and Tim Hackman (Dranesville), Planning Commission Chairman Pete Murphy, and Park Authority Director Kirk Kincannon. Several park staff were there including Andy Miller, Eric Inman, Manager of Golf Enterprises Todd Johnson and former Manager of Golf Enterprises Peter Fury.

The new facility provides year-round opportunities for golfers. Golfers can now enjoy a 64-station lighted driving range with 24 covered and heated stations. The new amenities will accommodate practice and classes year-round at Burke Lake Gold Academy. A rentable area with indoor seating is available for private functions and parties.

The Burke Lake Golf Center was originally opened in 1970. It was a great place. The old driving range was great. It is where I learned to hit a golf ball and took lessons through the Fairfax County Park Authority. But it was showing its age and that was impacting both the community’s enjoyment of the facility and its economic performance.

To address these needs, $6.6 million was allocated as part of the 2008 and 2012 Park Bonds toward the renovation of the driving range and the clubhouse as well as other improvements including the installation of a sewage line. (The clubhouse will re-open this fall.) After years of discussions and planning, a series of public meetings were held to discuss the plans for the Burke Lake Golf Center. At one point, there were some discussions about bringing in a Top Golf like partner to build and run a new facility, it became clear that this was not going to be a viable solution. Continue reading