SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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www.sportseventsmagazine.com September 2016 41 the -81 kg weight class and the first medal for a U.S. male in 12 years, USA Judo announced. Cara Fasciani, marketing and fundraising coordinator for USA Judo, knows that success will only continue to boost the popularity of the sport. "Judo is the second-most practiced sport in the world, just behind soccer," she said. "With Kayla Harrison's gold medal win and Marti Malloy's bronze medal win in the 2012 Olympic Games, we have seen an increase in female participants in the sport." Main Events Closer to home, these three national governing bodies consider everything from competition venues and ease of travel to availability of accommodations and activities offered when selecting a host city. "Most important is a space to place our mats so they can be easily visible by the spectators," said USA Karate's Hampel, of the venue. "We are continually looking for ways to improve the experience for our competitors and fans." To help manage the details in the host city, Hampel said they turn to the sources that know it best. "We work with the CVBs and sports commissions. They know best how to bring events to their cities," he said. "They can share what others have done and they can help work with the hotels and venues to smooth out any issues that arise." USA Judo's Fasciani said a host city must be able to offer 40,000-square-foot competition space and a package deal with the venue and hotel, and CVBs and sports commissions are invaluable in helping meet those needs. "We rely heavily on assistance, support and expertise in the city," she said. Though USJJO does not currently work with CVBs or sports commissions in planning national events, Stanton said her organization considers infrastructure, athletic tradition and an attractive city when selecting a site. "The last two years, the UFC has invited us to hold our US Nationals and US Open at their International Fight Week in Las Vegas," she said. "This venue has allowed competitors and spectators from all over the world to come to Las Vegas and compete as well as enjoy all the activities that are going on." Ju-jitsu will be represented at the 2017 World Beach Games in San Diego, which was selected for its "natural capacity, strong infrastructure and athletic tradition to successfully host this event," Stanton said. "USJJO is very excited about this selection. Over 200 countries are expected to participate." A Winning Future Despite judo being the only Olympic sport of the three featured martial arts disciplines, each organization anticipates a boost from the Games. Though ju-jitsu has no firm Games appearance yet, Stanton — who expects stable growth for USJJO this year — said she looks forward to working closely with the various ju-jitsu organizations in the future "as the Olympic goal nears." With the 2020 Tokyo Games in mind, USA Karate's Hampel expects 2017 and 2018 to be "growth years" in preparation for the sport's Olympic debut. "I think the future is extremely bright and we will have many opportunities to showcase the sport and the values it can bring to our students and competitors," he said. With a gold and a silver in Rio, USA Judo looks forward to growth after the Games. "With medals won," Fasciani said, "we receive more coverage in the media and anticipate growth in our membership." n t SPORT Report

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