Week of December 13, 2010
USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of December 13, 2010
Last week was action packed and involved a lot of travel. As a result, this will be an abbreviated report. It was a whirlwind trip. Last week staff members Lee Bodimeade, USA Field Hockey National Women’s Team Coach, Laura Darling, Olympic and Athlete Development Managing Director, Simon Hoskins, Communications and Marketing Director and I ventured off in a first leg of a trip to Richmond, VA. There we met with Dr. Steve Burton, a “retired” psychologist and founder of a marvelous new property SportsQuest. Also within the SportsQuest entourage was Jordon Marotta, former assistant hockey coach at Stanford, and now executive director of field hockey for SportsQuest.
Steve represents anything but being “retired”. His energy is boundless, and he has created a spectacular venue unlike anything I have seen in this country. SportsQuest consists of three separate land parcels with literally hundreds of acres of facilities. Dr. Burton has designed the facility to accommodate well over thirty sports and he has applied concepts of the delivery of services to both elite level as well as recreational level athletes. Those delivery standards are substantially different from one another.
The venues throughout are of the highest level of surfaces (albeit currently there are no water turfs, but may be in the future; the current turf on all 9 fields) is synthetic. While the fields are spectacular and new, the uniqueness of the property is provided through the inclusion of significant sports science and sports medicine, and the provision of dorm space and meal capabilities. The entire venue is littered with high tech enhancements plus Dr. Burton has provided television and net streaming abilities so competitions can be viewed from afar.
And, finally, Steve believes in creating a total life environment. He is in the midst of developing a large amphitheater facility to provide for family related concerts, and other types of cultural opportunities.
Steve Burton was for years involved in high performance development and competition for USA Speedskating. He has great familiarity of what is needed in the intense environment of Olympic competition, and has a sensitivity for the needs of recreational sport and the building of a pipeline for any sport. If you will be attending or competing in next year’s USA Field Hockey National Club Championship, you will have the opportunity to see what immersion into Olympic sport entails. SportsQuest is as unique a place devoted to sport that I have seen period.
Wrapping up our week’s travels was a visit to the headquarters of ABC/ESPN and the marketing offices of the United States Olympic Committee, all located in New York City. Accompaning us on the visit was FIH President Leandro Negre’, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather, and FIH Marketing Director Steve Morris. Without going into the detail of it all, it was a significant gate opening to media and further non-endemic sponsor partner development for both USA Field Hockey and the FIH. Above all, it was a part of our continuing development of what is becoming a very strong relationship between USA Field Hockey and the FIH. President Negre’, a hockey Olympian who represented Spain during the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968, along with CEO Fairweather, the former Director of Sport of the International Olympic Committee, have already made significant strides to develop the sport globally, and, fully, the United States is a major partner in that effort.
From Sunday Morning NPR: “What happens when you play country music backwards? Your wife comes back, your dog returns, and you get out of prison.”
Have a great week!
USA Field Hockey