Happy New Years!

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Happy New Year!

In 2012 there were many great sporting events of every caliber that took place throughout the State of Maryland. Some examples of memorable events for me include the Grand Prix of Baltimore, 93,000+ fans packing Ocean City for the Pantech Dew Tour, the USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival in Annapolis and the USA National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championship at Morgan State University. And who can forget ORIOLES MAGIC!! Not only did the Baltimore Orioles make it to the PLAYOFF for the first time in 15 years, Camden Yards at Oriole Yards celebrated 20 years!! (Don’t you feel older now!) Fun fact- in the 20 years the Warehouse has been standing guard over the ballpark, not a home run nor a grand slam has broken a window in the Warehouse. Now we look ahead to 2013 with excitement that the new year will bring.

Coming up in January is the 18th Annual Bob Rowe Memorial Classic Wrestling Tournament taking place in Wicomico county. This is a special event in dedication to the former Wicomico High School wrestling coach.

Wicomico High School Wrestling

The tournament also serves as a fundraiser for the team. There are teams from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia who attend, bringing a nice variety of competition. Check it out at the Wicomico’s Youth & Civic Center Jan 11th & 12th in Salisbury Maryland. If you would like more information on the event, click here for the tournament’s website.

February and March usher in a plethora of amateur sports such as the 2013 USA Fencing Junior Olympic Fencing Championships, Unique Classic, USATF National Youth Indoor T&F Championships and Masters Indoor T&F Championships. Despite the potentially chilling weather, outdoor soccer & lacrosse returns to the turf in March with the Amanda Post Memorial Soccer Tournament and Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic.

As 2013 continues to speed by, stay up to date with sports in Maryland via Here 2 Play or MarylandSports.us!

The CAA Comes to Baltimore

This morning’s press conference at Visit Baltimore celebrated some very sensational news! It was announced that the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)  is coming to Baltimore. The CAA Men’s Basketball Championship will be held at the 1st Mariner Arena starting 2014, through 2015 and 2016. To give some background on the CAA, they have had 13 NCAA Tournament victories in the past 7 years and the total attendance at the championship for the past five years has surpassed 42,000 spectators. For the past 23 years the Championship was held at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va.

CAA Press Conference 12/12/12

CAA Press Conference 12/12/12

There are many reasons why Baltimore is great fit for this Championship. One is the fact that Baltimore is a prime location, more than 370,000 alumni from the CAA reside within 100 miles from the city. The city provides over 130 attractions including tons of restaurants, hotels and shops.  The 1st Mariner Arena is a neutral site with seating for 11,800 spectators, Frank Remesch the General Manager of the facility had this to say ” As the Arena celebrates its 50th Anniversary, it seems only fitting that we announce the return of college basketball, we are proud to continue to bring ground breaking sports and entertainment to Baltimore”.

The key people in making this relationship happen include Tom Yeager- the CAA Commissioner, the Mayor’s Office, the State of Maryland Office of Sports Marketing,Visit Baltimore and the 1st Mariner Arena. Terry Hasseltine- the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing Director stated “the sports landscape in Maryland has once again achieved another outstanding milestone with this important announcement. We are extremely proud of the partnerships and working relationships we have forged in the process to bring this premier collegiate sporting event to Maryland”. For more information visit the CAA’s blog.

7th Annual Potomac Junior Bonspiel

This exciting event is taking place November 2nd through the 4th at The Potomac Curling Club of the National Capital Curling Center in Laurel, MD. The First Draw is Friday at 7pm, the Expected Finals are to take place Sunday at 11:30am. (Times are subject to change)

Teams of all abilities are welcome! A maximum of 16 teams can be accommodated, and they plan to adhere to a 2-tiered draw format, with both recreational and competitive levels, in keeping with the tradition of our event.  The Potomac Curling Club has held many outstanding events at their location, including their yearly opener, the 2012 Inaugural Bonspiel which took place this past October.  Their next big event coming up is the NGCC Junior Playdowns which will take place from December 26th to December 31st.  You can find out more about this event and upcoming events by visiting www.curldc.org.

The game of curling was originally played by the Scottish and started back in the 16th century. It wasn’t until the 1830’s when the Scottish settlers brought the game to Michigan and from there it spread to the states of North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Many people are not aware of how the sport of curling has taken off with growth. Today in the U.S. there are about 135 clubs and increasing. There is a U.S. Junior National Team and a U.S. Wheelchair Team.

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Here are some general key things to know about the sport of Curling:

  • Be honest. There are rarely referees or umpires in curling, so the game depends on players to police themselves and one another, especially during league play. If perchance you accidentally burn a stone, it is expected that you will be the first to announce it.
  • Be a good sport. Congratulate players, both teammates and opponents, when they make a good shot. By the same standard, do not embarrass a player who has missed a shot. Cheering a missed shot is considered in poor taste and poor sportsmanship. Also do not make light of any bad fortune that befalls your opponent.
  • Keep the game moving. A standard eight end game takes 2 full hours to play, so it’s a courtesy to your team, your opponents, and anybody playing after you to be on time, prompt and mindful of the clock. If you start late or play slowly, do not assume that you will be able to play a complete, 8-end game. If you notice that you are a full end or two behind all the other sheets, pick up the pace.

Be sure to check out the National Governing Body for USA Curling at www.uscurl.org for more information about the sport and the organization itself! See you soon, on the ice in Maryland.

The Baltimore Marathon

The Baltimore Marathon, hosted by Under Armour is a part of the Baltimore Running Festival that takes place every 3rd weekend of October, this year falling on Saturday October 13th starting at 8 a.m. through scenic areas of Baltimore. This event has been in place for 12 years now and has set the bar high. This is an event for everyone, ages of participants range from 1 to 86 and representing 25 different countries! Now, let me shed some light on some meaningful numbers that this event has produced. There will be 27,000 runners this year (record breaking). There was 30.5 million dollars in revenue generated last year for the city of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and we look forward to what this year will bring.

The running festival includes the following events: the Under Armour Baltimore Marathon, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Half-Marathon, Legg Mason Team Relay, The 5K and The T. Rowe Price Kid’s Fun Run – “a race for everyone.” For more details about each specific race visit: www.thebaltimoremarathon.com. This event has sold out for 6 consecutive years! This is such a popular event that on September 17th both the 5k and the Team Relay were sold out. The deadline to register for all other events is Sunday October 7th at 11:59 p.m. There are 26 sponsors for this world known event, the major ones are Under Armour, Legg Mason, Care First, M&T Bank and Medstar Sports Medicine. If you would like to become a sponsor for this event please contact www.corrigansports.com

Before the race the Baltimore Sun is hosting a Health and Fitness Expo is open Thursday, October 11 from 10 AM to 9 PM and Friday, October 12 from 10 AM to 9 PM and is located at M&T Bank (Ravens) Stadium. It is opened to the public and they will be selling shoes, apparel, active gear and health care products. After the races, at the finish line there will be a Celebration Village which is open to the public with a live band, interactive games as well as food and drinks. Over the past 12 years there has been 7 million dollars raised for several different charities including: Special Olympics Maryland, The United Way of Central Maryland, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Helping Up Mission, Parks and People, Sadie’s Gift, Badges for Baseball, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central Maryland. Keep Supporting Maryland and Check out the Baltimore Marathon!

The Challenge at Musket Ridge

The Challenge at Musket Ridge took place in Fredrick Maryland this past week (August 20 – 26, 2012). This event is one stop on the Symetra Tour- the Road to the LPGA. The Musket Ridge Golf Club, ranked second by Golf Digest is located in Myersville, Md. The best of the best are here to play in Maryland and we had a great week of competition.

The Beautiful Site at Musket Ridge- Myersville, MD

For those of you who are not familiar with the Symetra Tour it’s the developmental tour for the LPGA. This is a fantastic opportunity for women to compete at their chance to become professionals. In its 32nd year, we are pleased to have this world class event take place here in Maryland. In fact, six of the current LPGA members are from Maryland.

The top 10 money winners will go on to play in 16 tournaments, with 11 stops in the United States and one in Mexico. This event had 18 different sponsors including PNC Bank, Hood College and Wegmans. Every year the Symetra Tour donates to various charities, donating over 5 million dollars over the past 20 years. All the proceeds from this event will go to the Frederick County Commission for Women.

As a recap of the results Misun Cho from Cheongju, South Korea was the 1st place winner with top score of 205. Sarah Brown from White Hall, Pennsylvania finished in a close 2nd with a score of 206 and Mariana Alex from Wayne, New Jersey finished in 3rd place with 208. You can check out the list of participants and the results on the Final Round Leader Board here. Congratulations to all of the players and good luck in your future competition.

The British Invasion…

On Saturday two English Premier League teams took to the pitch at M&T Bank Stadium. The crowd of approx. 43,000 witnessed the first time two EPL teams have played one another on US soil – Tottenham FC v. Liverpool FC. The bluegrass pitch looked remarkable considering the hot and steamy weather. The two clubs were outfitted in their new kits Tottenham FC in Under Armour and Liverpool FC in Warrior.

British Deputy Ambassador Phillip Barton & Terry Hasseltine, Director of the Maryland Office of Sports

Off the field most fans arrived sporting their red and white jerseys singing their favorite club’s hems and chants. I however had the good fortune to meet both the clubs management teams and present a small gift to them. In addition, I was fortunate to also present a gift to British Deputy Ambassador Phillip Barton. The two clubs couldn’t have been more excited about the reception they received by the City of Baltimore, the Ravens, the fans and the State of Maryland. At the end of the day, we met our goal: provide a world class experience for the fans and clubs, even though the match played to a tie. Job well done!

The British invasion isn’t over as Tottenham FC is spearheading a clinic and camp as well as tournament this week at Covenant Park (Howard County) in partnership with SAC and Elite Tournaments.

The match might be over on the pitch here in Baltimore, Maryland, but the relationships formed will be beneficial for years to come.

Cheers!

USA Sailing Junior Olympic Sailing Festival

This Month there are many events taking place in the state of Maryland, however there are some key events that everyone should have their eye on. The USA Sailing Junior Olympics Sailing Festival taking place in Annapolis is one of those significant events. The event took place July 5-8th at Annapolis Yacht Club & Severn SS, Annapolis, MD. Hundreds of young athletes ages 6-21 will gather to learn everything they need about sailing from the fundamentals to all the way to preparing them to become Olympic hopefuls.  This is an exciting event taking place that represents the presence of US Sailing and the USOC in an Olympic year.

The opening ceremonies involved all of the participating athletes marching across the Compromise Street Bridge from the “Olympic Village” to the National Sailing Hall of Fame at City Dock and raising the Olympic Flag signifying the start of the races. The President of US Sailing, Gary Jobson as well as Dick Franyo, President of the National Sailing Hall of Fame were present during the opening ceremonies.

One of the great things this event has going on is the fact that they truly care about affecting the eco system. This event will also have a green component to it, a program called Sailors for the Sea, and educational program that allow everyone involved with sailing to understand how to become ocean stewards and learn about ocean health. Culligan provided a water pump system for all athletes to fill up their water bottles at this event and BMW was the title sponsor for this event.

For more pictures of the event, check out this link!

To register for the USA Sailing Junior Olympics go to www.membership.ussailing.org.