Taking Youth Sports to the Next Level

2013-11-13T14:54:00Z 2013-11-13T15:01:08Z Taking Youth Sports to the Next LevelContributed by Jane Daley Community Relations Manager LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau nwitimes.com

LAPORTE | LaPorte County is quickly becoming a sought after venue for sporting events. From professional boat races to amateur softball tournaments, Visit Michigan City LaPorte Convention & Visitors Bureau is at the forefront in the growing sports tourism business, hosting hundreds of sports events each year and helping the local communities bring millions of dollars into their coffers.

They key to that effort is youth sports.

On any given week during the spring, summer and fall, Michigan City’s Patriot Park and LaPorte’s Kesling Park are filled with young baseball, softball and soccer players, who have driven in from around the Midwest and the country to compete against their peers.

Gyms in both cities are utilized for kids’ volleyball tournaments, AAU basketball tournaments and even gymnastics and competitive cheer events, while the nation’s premier youth football organization utilizes Michigan City’s Ames Field for state and regional tournaments year after year.

This push toward youth sports has spurred local entities to get involved, and that means exciting things for LaPorte County’s youth sports climate in years to come.

Exciting improvements have taken place at Kiwanis Field in LaPorte with their proposed renovations and addition of field turf. These renovations will allow us to greatly expand opportunities and to maximize the use of the facility. Also, the Kesling School track has been enlarged and improved. Now each of these facilities can host IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Association) events. We are looking to take advantage of the new Kiwanis Field improvements by possibly hosting youth sports events next year or the year after in LaPorte.

Jack Arnett, Pop Warner Football Regional Director said, “We would like for this to become a tradition with the teams coming back each year and with the help of our local service industry we feel confident that this will happen. It is good for the teams and good for our local economy. This year Michigan City will host teams from 11 states in the Mid America region at Ames field in Michigan City. Those games will take place over three week-ends, starting on November 16th and ending on December 1st, with the winners advancing to the Pop Warner Super Bowl held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. These teams fill our local hotels and provide a huge economic impact for our lodging facilities,” said Arnett.

For more information on PW go to the national web site www.popwarner.com

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