FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 6, 2001
For more information, contact
Hill Carrow, Capitol Sports Management 919-890-6284
Phase I Completed For Development of USA Masters Games
DURHAM, N.C. – Capitol Sports Management (CSM), a division of Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh, announced today that it had successfully completed Phase I of its development efforts for a new event, the USA Masters Games.
“Phase I primarily involved a feasibility analysis,” explained Hill Carrow, President of CSM and the person who conceived the Games. “We had a concept that we thought had lots of merit, but we had to spend time getting feedback from sport governing bodies, evaluating current Masters events, examining venues, crafting budgets, running it past potential marketing partners, and discussing it with community leaders. The good news is that we now believe this event can be done the way we originally envisioned and we intend to stage the inaugural edition in 2003.”
The USA Masters Games will be held over a 10-day period during summer 2003. The Games will be comprised of 15 sports contested at venues throughout the Triangle area (and beyond). Current projections are for at least 5-6000 adult competitors, ages 21 and up. Participants are expected to range from active “weekend warriors” to former profes-sional sport and Olympic champions.
Jim Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting, emphasized the Games’ importance to the Triangle. “When first presented with the concept, I liked it because I saw it as providing another outstanding opportunity for the Triangle communities to work together and to again show off our great region to the world. The Games also coincide with the 100 th anniversary year of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, so it gives us another excellent vehicle to celebrate that momentous event. Finally,” he concluded, “I really like the economic impact. All the Games participants stay in hotels, they pay for their own meals, they like to be entertained and a number will no doubt build their vacations in North Carolina around this event. It’s really a win for everyone—host community and competitors alike.”
Masters or adult sports are a fairly recent phenomenon, having first been organized on a national basis beginning in the 1970s. As a result of the tremendous increase in participation with the passage of the baby boom generation through the adult ranks and an increased emphasis on healthy lifestyles, most sports organizations as a result created “adult” or “Masters” divisions. The governing bodies are associated with many of the Olympic sport governing bodies, but some are completely separate, such as United States Masters Swimming.
Winkie La Force, Executive Vice President of CSM and General Manager for the 2003 Games announced the dates of the inaugural USA Masters Games as Friday, June 6 through Sunday, June 15, 2003.
The 2003 Games will feature 15 sports for both men and women, as follows: Baseball, Basketball, Cycling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Mountain Biking, Rowing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Triathlon, Volleyball, and Water Skiing.
“The sports we have selected are ones where there is currently substantial adult participation, and we also considered the available venues and the expertise of local individuals who could assist with planning and management” said Ms. La Force. “We believe we have put together a fun, exciting, and entertaining mix that involves both summer and winter sports, as well as traditional and non-traditional (such as Mountain Biking and Water Skiing) sports.”
Sports competition coordinators or competition committee leaders were named, including:
- Bill Law, Baseball – former Raleigh Mayor Pro Term and current Durham Bulls PA announcer
- Barry Pennel, Basketball – former President of NC Amateur Sports
- Tracey Williams, Basketball – Recruiting Coordinator for UNC Women’s Basketball
- Chips Chapman, Cycling – Chief Referee, State Games of NC Cycling competition
- Kathleen Gleason, Cycling – Masters Cycling National Champion
- Phyllis O’Hara, Figure Skating – Vice President, Skating Club of NC and adult figure skating competitor
- Mary Wehbie, Figure Skating – President, Skating Club of NC
- Randy Lee, Ice Hockey – General Manager, The Ice House
- Robert Faulk, Mountain Biking – Owner, Fit to Be Tried Bike and Fitness Shop
- Shawn Stevenson, Rowing – President, Raleigh Rowing Club
- Jim Lavery, Soccer – Assistant Manager, Raleigh Civic and Convention Center and elite soccer team coach
- Tony Laws, Softball – District Commissioner, NC Amateur Softball Association
- Ceil Blackwell, Swimming – former President, Raleigh Area Masters Swim Team and Top-10 ranked Masters swimmer
- Sue Haugh, Swimming – Coach, Raleigh Area Masters Swim Team
- Kelly Gaines, Tennis – Executive Director, NC Tennis Association
- Cy King, Tennis – City of Raleigh Tennis Director
- Bernard Austin, Track & Field – Assistant Head Coach Durham Striders Track Club and national Track & Field Official
- Alisa Wright Colopy, Triathlon – Director, Fit and Able Productions
- Cid Cardoso, Triathlon – President, Inside-Out Sports shop and four-time Iron Man competitor
- Floyd Cook, Triathlon – Owner, Bike Line of Garner
- Fred Wendelboe, Volleyball – US Volleyball Association Regional Operations Vice President
- Craig Lenninger, Volleyball – Assistant Coach, Guilford College Volleyball
- April Coble, Water Skiing – Owner and Head Coach, Coble Ski School
“We are thrilled with the level of management talent we have been able to attract to coordinate our sports competitions,” Ms. La Force indicated, “Our sport coordination team members are known on a state and national basis and a number are Masters athletes themselves. That alone should help insure that we host an event focused on the athletes.”
“Beyond competition itself, though,” she added, “we have ideas for a number of complementary activities such as Opening Ceremonies, social events, sponsor functions, and music fest which will make for a memorable Games for both athletes and spectators alike.”
Capitol Sports Management will host the 2003 USA Masters Games and has identified first-class venues throughout the Triangle region that will serve both as the highest quality competition sites and a draw in and of themselves.
Recommended Games venues include athletic facilities at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, and Duke University. In addition, both Raleigh and Cary Parks and Recreation facilities, such as Lake Wheeler, Walnut Creek Park, and Fred Bond Park will be used. Participants will also get to compete in professional venues such as Durham Bulls Athletic Park, State Capital Soccer Park, and the Entertainment and Sports Arena. Finally, though the Triangle is the epicenter of the Masters Games, the competitions are expected to extend outside the area with Sanford’s San-Lee Park designated for the Mountain Bike competition and the Coble Ski School in Lillington serving as the Water Skiing venue.
“The attractive sporting environment represented by the USA Masters Games,” said Raleigh City Councilman Benson Kirkman, “is a perfect complement to the cultural entertainment we are so proud of in the Triangle including the wonderful cultural festivals here in Durham and at our new BTI Performing Arts Center in Raleigh. It also provides an incredible opportunity to introduce an amazingly broad and diverse group of adult athletes from across the U.S. to our own increasingly diverse market.”
David Fox, Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games spoke of the importance of Masters sports. “It was not that long ago,” he said, “that a swimmer’s career was over when they finished age group or elite competition—usually late teens or early 20s. But with the advent of Masters sport, those of us ‘more mature’ athletes have a fun, competitive outlet to help keep us fit and enhance family and business life.”
Wendy Gebauer, former UNC Soccer Star and national television color commentator for women’s soccer, echoed David’s remarks and added, “The team experience for me was like family and the fact that Masters sports let you carry that experience through life make them an invaluable addition to the competitive sports scene.”
Bernard Austin, Master Track & Field coach, official, and athlete, summed up what he considered the most important aspects of Masters sports, “If one has the desire and determination to continue to be involved, age or prior experience are not enemies, but valuable allies. And even more important is the valuable experience of developing friendships that cross all age, sex, and color barriers in the true spirit of athletic competition. In short, Masters competition reflects the last vestiges of true amateur sports.”
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL-Digital, WRAL-FM, Microspace, the North Carolina News Network, DTV Plus, Wolfpack Sports Marketing, and Capitol Sports Management in Raleigh, NC; WJZY-TV and WFVT-TV in Charlotte, NC; WILM-TV in Wilmington, NC; WRAZ-TV and the Durham Bulls Baseball Club in Durham, NC; and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball Club in Myrtle Beach, SC; Capitol Broadcasting Company also founded Local TV on Satellite in Raleigh, NC.