Apr 24, 2015 08:10AM
● By Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan
Utah: The State of Sport
The fourth annual Governor’s State of Sport Awards on held on April 21 to honor excellence in high school, amateur, collegiate, Olympic and professional sports. The night was dedicated to celebrating Utah’s sports industry and its contribution to our high quality of life, economic prosperity and our reputation as The State of Sport.
Not only did we honor individual performances and team accomplishments, but in so recognizing, we continue to encourage future sports involvement and investment in our state. It’s astonishing to realize Utah was home to more than 600 sporting events in 2014, generating approximately 1 billion dollars to our economy. One simply cannot overstate the importance of sports.
Sports are truly a universal language: with a wealth of experiences to be enjoyed by all. Whether it’s playing catch in your yard, watching someone achieve their Olympic goal, cheering on your daughter’s high school volleyball team or attending a Real Salt Lake or Jazz game, sports provides the backdrop for memories to be made and characters to be formed.
Real Salt Lake
During the event, Kyle Beckerman was named as the top pro/Olympian male athlete. Congratulations to him for a much-deserved honor, one of many for this organization. Given the many successes of Real Salt Lake, its growing popularity within Utah and their deserved respect as a worthy contender in the MLS, it is clear that Real Salt Lake, and Sandy City as its host city, are vital contributors in building Utah’s sports reputation throughout the world. The new owner of Real Salt Lake, Dell Loy Hansen, is dedicated to growing soccer well into the future and is taking action with his announcement of the addition of the Real Monarchs in West Valley City and a stated plan for existing and future youth programs.
In the 2015 Legislative Session a resolution was passed recognizing the importance of Utah’s sports and Olympic legacy efforts. This resolution highlighted three elements:
Support for Utah’s ongoing sport and Olympic legacy activities;
Appreciation for and support of Utah’s effort to continue to strengthen and expand its positions as “The State of Sport” in national and international sport and Olympic spaces; and
Encourage Utah to remain “ready, willing and able” as the opportunity arises to continue to host major sporting events of all kinds and be prepared, should an opportunity arise, to host a future Olympic Games.
Parks and Recreation
Our 2015 Parks and Recreation summer brochure was recently mailed to homes and includes a wealth of sports opportunities to keep summer boredom at bay. According to PBS Sports, sports participation has the “power to combat everything from racism to low self-image, to the high school drop-out rate”. But, in all honesty, all you’ll need to prove its importance will be the smile of your children’s faces.
I am pleased to announce our Parks and Recreation Department was the recipient of the 2015 outstanding department award for cities with 50,000+, awarded from the Utah Recreation and Parks Association. This award simply proves what I and countless residents already know, Sandy City Parks and Recreation is truly the best at providing fun, varied and quality recreational opportunities.
Please join us this summer and help us build our reputation as The State of Sports, one home at a time.