Fields on Buildings Coming to Tysons…

UPDATED:  I spoke to Pete Murphy (Chairman and Springfield member of the Planning Commission) and he told me that they have inserted language about putting fields on top of buildings in three different parts of the plan.  This is a HUGE step forward for youth and adult sports in Fairfax County.

I received a note today that the final plan for the new Tysons Corner long term development plan includes language I had suggested about putting sports fields on the top of new structures.  If this is the case, it is a real step forward for Fairfax County.  This is the kind of forward thinking that we need as we look to bring more space online in the county.

You can read more about the concept here.  You can also review my prepared remarks to the planning commission here.  (It’s a PDF file.)

Hoops for Youth Foundation

I just learned about the Hoops for Youth Foundation.  It looks like they do a lot of good work for the community.

Created in 1999, Hoops For Youth Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports at-risk kids in our communities.  HYF provides the most basic tools that young people need to help them play team sports and face the many challenges of growing up in communities plagued by poverty and crime.

Their mission:

  • Provide leadership to at risk kids
  • Provide financial support to at risk kids
  • Provide mentoring to at risk kids
  • Provide educational opportunities to at risk kids
  • Empower at risk kids to become leaders
  • Provide at risk kids with a chance

Teen Center Soccer Program

Sports can have a huge positive impact on kids.  But lots of kids never get the chance to play on an organized team.

Fairfax County’s Community and Recreation Services is a great organization.  Among other things, they offer many kids a chance to play team sports that otherwise would otherwise never get a chance.  One such program is the Teen Center Soccer program.  Games are at Patriot Park on Saturday nights from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Burke Athletic Club has been supporting the program.  We’ve helped with pinnies for the kids, game balls, corner flags and that kind of stuff.  I’ve been there each evening.

This past weekend, a good friend of mine who is a professional photographer came and took pictures of the kids.  Kristina Hernandez donated her time and all of the pictures.   You can see all of them here.

See Amy Run!

This is very cool.  Amy Palmiero-Winters was a high school track star but lost her leg below the knee in a motorcycle accident in 1994.  Many people would give up.  Most would give up running.  Almost every one of them would never try and continue to compete in track.

But not Amy.

Amy won the ARR Run to the Future 24 hour race.  Yes, that’s right – she won a 24 hour long race where athletes run as far as they can.  In her case, she ran 130.04 miles in 24 hours.  Anything over 130 miles is considered “world class.”  Amy is the fifth US woman to ever break the world class barrier.  She finished almost 14 miles ahead of the first man.

Amy has now qualified for the US national team to the 2010 World 24-Hour Run Championship.  This is an event typically for able bodied athletes.

Way to go Amy!!!

Planning Commission

I testified before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Wednesday night after the Athletic Council meeting.  The hearing was about the long term development plan in Tysons.  My presentation dealt with putting fields on the top of buildings, parking decks, etc.

This is an issue that I have touched on before and even have a page dedicated to it here on this blog.

We need to start looking at these types of options – not only in Tysons but all over Fairfax.  When the county looks at building a parking deck at a VRE stop, letting a developer build a new town center, or considers renovations to a shopping center, serious consideration should be given to making athletic facilities part of the equation.

We are in desperate need of basketball courts, baseball/softball fields, and rectangular fields for football, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, etc.  This option gives us a chance to meet the need and not have so many issues with buying land, parking, lights, etc.

What a Cool Program!

Homelessness is a problem in the United States that a lot of people don’t want to talk about or deal with.  One of the groups that has stepped up to help homeless adults and teenagers is Street Soccer USA.

This organization is dedicated helping the homeless through sports.  Here’s what they say:

“We take the best from the world of sports and we combine in with the best of social services and we get amazing results. 75% of the homeless teens and adults we work with connect to jobs, education, and housing within a year of joining our programs.”

This is an awesome idea.  Watch this video and get involved!

Officer Cruz is Way Cool!

This is a write up from the old blog originally posted on July 14, 2009:

Yesterday evening I went out to Lynbrook Elementary School.  I was asked to go see a soccer program run by Fairfax Police Officer Al Cruz and some other officers from the Springfield substation.

I am not sure what I expected, but I can tell you this:  It was awesome.

Kids from about six years old to nineteen were out there playing.  There are four different sets of kids playing pickup games and running drills.  In all, there were more than 100 kids out playing and there are some Monday afternoons that there are more than 200 playing.

On a field and in a community where kids weren’t able to play safely just a few years ago, the police have created a safe haven free of gangs and drugs.  It’s not often you see a police 4×4 in the middle of a playground or uniformed and plain clothes officers walking around with their side arms clearly visible – but it works.

Here’s a link to a Washington Post article about the program.