SportsEvents Magazine

JAN 2016

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January 2016 20 JOHN DAVID , CEO American Bicycle Association dba USA BMX USA BMX National Series Gilbert, AZ 18 Years Planning Events For John David, the COO of USA BMX, bicycle moto- cross racing is more than a sport—it's life-changing. "I grew up racing BMX and I am who I am today because of the lessons learned during that time," he says. "Our sport unites families and teaches partici- pants lifelong lessons." Though BMX is an individual sport, David says it lends itself to creating teams within the family unit. "The fam- ily actually becomes the team, and it is not uncommon to have a family of four all racing and enjoying the sport," he says. Part of the reason is the draw of the sport, as it pulls from a wide demo- graphic—so wide, in fact, that David says that's the most unique aspect of BMX racing. "When you attend a USA BMX National event, the frst race of the day begins with our 2-year-old riders on pedaless balance bikes. Within 45 min- utes, you're watching our 65 & Over category and they are followed by our Olympic-caliber professional riders," he says. "There are very few sports where you can see every aspect on one feld of play in the same day." The power of bringing families together in BMX is just one aspect of David's job that he loves so much. Another is his team. "The passion of our staff is amazing," he says, "and every day whether at an event or in an offce, they completely dedicated themselves to both the sport and our customers." JAMES E. "OBIE" EVANS , President Dixie Softball, Inc. Dixie Softball World Series Birmingham, AL Dixie Softball offers girls in the South an outlet to compete for the love of the game. President Obie Evans is proud of the difference his organization makes, and he doesn't even earn an income to promote it. "What I love most about being presi- dent of Dixie Softball is getting to meet so many wonderful people and to see how the effect of what I founded has beneftted so many young girls," he says. Today's emphasis on winning and creating elite competition creates the biggest challenge for organizations like Dixie Softball. "The biggest challenge was in trying to get the local programs to understand that the hundreds of girls they have in their program are worth more than the few who play travel ball," he says. "Dixie Softball is based on participation for all the girls and not the so called 'elite' players." Regardless of playing ability, every girl plays more than one inning for each game they attend. There are no entrance fees for tournaments. And pitchers are rotated to prevent a team from relying on a super-pitcher. Those differences from other youth softball programs are just a few of the things Evans cites as to why Dixie Softball offers girls a fun sporting experience. "Dixie Softball is making a dif- ference because it gives the girls a wholesome sports program to play and a program where they know that their playing ability has nothing to do with them having fun playing softball," he says. R E C O G N I T I O N I S S U E t Congratulations! 2016 Readers' Choice Award Winners NEW JERSEY Wildwoods Convention Center Meet AC and the Atlantic City Sports Commission NEW MEXICO Las Cruces CVB Albuquerque CVB NEW YORK Greater Binghamton CVB Long Island CVB/ Sports Commission NORTH CAROLINA Visit Winston-Salem Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority Greensboro Area CVB NORTH DAKOTA Bismarck-Mandan CVB Fargo-Moorhead Athletic Commission OHIO Destination Toledo CVB Lake Erie Shores and Islands Miami County CVB Dayton CVB OKLAHOMA Broken Arrow CVB Oklahoma City CVB Tulsa Sports Commission OREGON Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center PENNSYLVANIA Erie Area Sports Commission Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau Central Pennsylvania CVB D g o f g E t h o d h d ' F t h U b c i s a l i " I g r e w u p r a c i n g B M X

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