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Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Sidelines - April 2016
San Antonio Sports

April, 2016

Firing Up for 2018 at Houston Final Four®

Key members of the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee (SALOC), which is comprised of San Antonio Sports, the City of San Antonio and UTSA, will be in Houston this week getting behind-the-scene tours, attending future host committee meetings and learning all about this marquee event which has grown much bigger since the last time it was in San Antonio in 2008. Each person attending serves a different purpose. From security, the facility, operations, the student-athlete experience, March Madness Music Festival, transportation, the social media hub, Final Four Fan Fest, Tip-Off Tailgate and more, we will be learning the ins and outs of an event that is expected to provide $85 million in direct visitor spending to our community. 
Leading our team is Jenny Carnes, the executive director of SALOC. We're in good hands as Jenny has been a part of each Final Four held in San Antonio, and was the executive director in 2008. She is transitioning into the role again from her position as Vice President of Events & Bids for San Antonio Sports. 
While in Houston, we'll be sharing photos and more on our Final Four Facebook page(, so please like us and come along for the ride. 
USA Diving Synchronized National Championships

Combine athleticism, acrobatics and two divers performing simultaneously, and you have an exciting event for spectators and competitors. The USA Diving Synchronized National Championships will be held at Northside Swim Center April 6-10. Join us for five days of outstanding diving competition, including an Olympic Trials final qualification event on April 8. Tickets are available for purchase at the gate only. To learn more and see a schedule of events, click here
If you're interested in volunteering at the competition, click here to register or contact Kristin Libardoni.
Hunters & Shooters Pull for Kids
Pull for Kids invitational shotgun shoot on May 11 at the National Shooting Complex will offer an afternoon of spirited competition that benefits San Antonio Sports. In addition to a 125 bird sporting clays tournament, participants can sharpen their shooting skills with USA Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Terry Howard, talk with local outfitters, test drive the newest BMW's and enjoy lunch from La Cantera Hill Country Resort. 
To participate, contact Dorsena Picknell or call 210-820-2112.
Go Over the Edge 

There's still time to register for the ultimate urban adventure, all for a good cause. Go Over the Edge on May 7, rappelling down 15 stories at the Marriott Rivercenter hotel while raising money for San Antonio Sports. 
You don't have to have any specialized experience or training, and highly trained industrial rope specialists will prepare you for your unique experience. Also, if your company is participating in our San Antonio Sports Corporate Cup presented by Humana, you can earn charity challenge points for your team. 
Learn all the details and register today at
Got Game? Join the Bexar County Games

Boys and girls who love to play basketball and baseball can be a part of the Bexar County Games, presented by Ancira, basketball and baseball tournaments. The Bexar County Games presented by Ancira basketball tournament will be held April 30 - May 1 at four locations.  Registration is $125 per team, with a three game guarantee. The deadline to register is Friday, April 22. Divisions include 4th-8th grade, junior varsity and varsity, with up to 12 players per team. To register, visit
The Bexar County Games presented by Ancira baseball tournament will be held May 21-22 at McAllister Park Little League. Divisions include 7U through 14U and the deadline to register is May 14. For more information, visit
San Antonio Sports and Bexar County are co-hosting the Bexar County Games which serve as community-wide competitions showcasing Bexar County venues, while establishing high-level destination events for regional and international participants. 
Go Shopping & Support San Antonio Sports
Enjoy an evening of shopping at Kendra Scott La Cantera on Tuesday, April 12, from 6-8 p.m. Twenty percent of the evening's sales will benefit San Antonio Sports. And it's the perfect opportunity to purchase a gift for the mom or graduate on your list. To learn more, contact Myrna Reyes at 820-2109. 
Fore! i play! afterschool kids Tee Up at Golf Tournament
It was a beautiful day when hundreds of kids took part in our i play! afterschool Greehey Family Foundation Golf Tournament. Congratulations to Briscoe Elementary who won the Greehey Cup. Kudos also to Neal and JT Brackenridge Elementary for their second and third place finishes...and to all the kids who participated and did their best! Click here and enjoy a short, fun video that captures the day. 
Sponsor Profile: The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group
The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group (TSAOG) supports several San Antonio Sports events and programs, including the popular 2K wellness walk at the San Antonio Sports Corporate Cup and the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame. "Partnering with San Antonio Sports makes sense for TSAOG because it parallels what we do in the community," says Dr. Josh Bell, partner and director of sports medicine for TSAOG.  "We're involved in team sports, youth competitions, and other sporting events. We focus on advancing sports medicine and health in the city we love."  Thanks to TSAOG for helping San Antonio Sports fulfill its mission to transform our community through the power of sport.

Larry Hernandez (left) and Anthony Garza were key volunteers at the 2008 NCAA® Men's Final Four®.
Volunteer profile: Larry Hernandez
Often our volunteers become like family, and Larry Hernandez has been part of the San Antonio Sports family for more than 20 years. Larry is one of our "key volunteers" and was Volunteer of the Year in 2007. Many times you can see him driving a van or serving as a leader of a particular area like parking or transportation. In March, he filled the first two shifts each day of the UIL basketball championships. 
"My first volunteer event with San Antonio Sports Foundation was in 1993 for the Olympic Festival," says Larry. "I've worked a ton of events since then--including all the Final Fours--both Men's and Women's. The people at San Antonio Sports have always been great to work with and a lot of friendships have started here." 
His favorite events? The Final Four. "They were the toughest AND most fun to do." He recalls seeing volunteers catching a nap anywhere they could while working 15 to 20 hour shifts. Or sitting in the media vans outside the Alamodome at 3:30 a.m. waiting for TV, radio and newspaper reporters. "I've mentioned the word "fun" a few times and to me that's what volunteering at San Antonio Sports is all about." If you'd like to join Larry and have some fun volunteering for our events, visit  
In Her Own Words: i play! afterschool parent Isabel De La Cruz
Each year we invite a participant in our i play! afterschool program, and his or her parent, to share their experience at the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame Tribute. Last month, we shared fifth grader Allison's story. This month we share her mom's.
"Good evening, my name is Isabel De La Cruz, and I am a proud parent of two i play! athletes. 
Through i play! I have seen my daughter, Allison's, confidence in sports thrive like no other. I have always known Allison was a leader, but the leadership she exhibited during the i play! volleyball tournament was enhanced almost like a super power. During the first volleyball practice five ice packs were given out (yes, she was counting!) and I had two nervous athletes at home. At the tournament Allison cheered on every teammate, even her little brother! She helped the team regain confidence after their first loss. To witness the improvement in all the athletes was an amazing, as well as an intense, experience.
We are a family of five and seem to budget just about everything. With the generous donations, registration is free! This is a plus to our family, both of our elementary school children could participate. 
We live in an apartment and without i play! our children would not get the recommended 60 minutes of activity every day. I'll be honest, without a yard and only a parking lot, I never let the kids out to "just" play. My son, Joshua, had zero interest in sports before i play!. The emotions I experienced when I saw him serve and score a point for his team are unexplainable. 
I apologize for not starting off by saying how humbled I am to be in the same room with such generous people. Thank you all again and let's keep i play! alive.
Again, we are so honored to be part of this event. Thank you all for all that the program does. I know we stress the 60 minutes of recommended activity but also, in our case, it provides our children 60 minutes to just be kids!"
San Antonio Sports Announces New Operations Team & Director of Development
San Antonio Sports has announced new staff additions. Dave Voth has joined the staff as Vice President of Bids and Events, Suzy Gray as Director of Operations and Sports Facilities, Riley Walker as Manager of Events, and Carisa Heiss as Director of Development. Additionally, Jenny Carnes will serve as executive director of the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee for the 2018 NCAA® Men's Final Four®
"I'm very excited about the collective expertise that Dave, Suzy, Carisa and Riley bring to San Antonio Sports," said Russ Bookbinder, president & CEO of San Antonio Sports. "The success of any organization is a reflection of the hard work of passionate people and teamwork exhibited every day. We are fortunate to add these talented people to our family. 
"We are also grateful to Jenny Carnes for her superb contributions to our team and look forward to her leadership as we prepare for the 2018 NCAA® Men's Final Four®."


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