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Games of Texas Return To Waco Next Year

Aug. 10, 2010

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2010 was the 6th time in the twenty-five year history of the Games of Texas that the city of Waco served as host. ThatÍs more than any other city. So it should come as no surprise that the GamesÍ organizer, the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation„or TAAF--, is pleased with WacoÍs execution of a major undertaking.

That was Mark Lord, executive director of TAAF. And that teamwork of which he spoke is vital to coordinating thousands of athletes, scores of events, over a dozen venues, and a thousand volunteers. Knowing how difficult it is to harness the human energy needed to pull these games off, TAAF has come up with a system to maximize that synergy. And Waco is one of the beneficiaries.

Jeff Goodman is an administrator for the City Parks and Recreation Department and president-elect of TAAF. The city took advantage of a two-year bidding process with TAAF to go ahead and commit to a two-year hosting cycle. Because once youÍve hosted the first year, a lot of the planning work is already done.

Those spectators at events like the long jump watched the Games of Texas probably without giving much thought to the coordination required to recruit approximately 1000 volunteers. Earl Stinnett was in charge of recruiting and said the two-year host process means the city doesnÍt have to replicate so much of the recruiting process.

Also coming back next year will be the athletes and their families, spending an estimated million dollars a day at hotels, restaurants, and business in Waco over the four day period. Jeff Goodman said the games showcase the city and its facilities, building a long-term brand for the area in addition to the immediate financial boost. ThatÍs why a two-year bid fee is a small price to pay for the right to host again.

So once again in 2011, an estimated 15-25,000 people will converge on Waco, with the city hoping for a smooth operation and more visitors that they can impress. And TAAF is hoping for Games of Texas that will grow bigger, and be more visible than ever before. For KWBU News, IÍm Derek Smith.

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