The Business Lead
By Mike Vogelaar, Executive Director
First Annual Mother’s Day Fun Run & 5K @ WACO SURF:
Oh! What a blast we had celebrating Moms, health and fun earlier this month! We sold out of the event a week beforehand and had a fantastic turnout from participants, volunteers, and sponsors (300+).
A special thanks again to all our sponsors including Allen Samuels Auto Group, Bear Mountain, & Waco Surf (formerly known under the old ownership as BSR Cable Park). Over 90% of participants had never been to Waco Surf and we are so excited for folks to be blown away with the world’s longest lazy river, the extreme slides, and soak up some sun on the beach with surfers in the background. We’re already planning next year’s event with a few fun twists, but it too will be capped off so make sure you stay tuned for updates and plan ahead to celebrate Mother’s Day Weekend with us again before it’s sold out!
OAR You In or Out?
GWSC and The Waco Rowing Center:
On June 14th, the Greater Waco Sports Commission and Waco Rowing Center (WRC) will be presenting at the Chamber’s Hour Economy. We’re proud to share the economic impact rowing can bring to the region.
The GWSC is proud to be working closely with the WRC on its local and national initiatives. Over the last two months, the La Vega ISD Rowing Team has started practicing with the help of the non-profit, community leaders, national organizations, and Olympians. Recently, they held their second practice and had erg competitions (rowing machines) for the 6th – 12th grade members. Everyone worked up a tremendous sweat, but the real win was seeing all the kids and full diversity work together. We had 11th graders encouraging 6th graders to try their hardest and cheering them on. Kids from different backgrounds came up with new secret handshakes together. There was no better way to wrap up practice than with some yoga and then pizza and drinks. If you’re interested in helping with this amazing opportunity, please contact us for more information.
Lastly, get ready for the first Waco Rowing Regatta on November 6th. Teams from around the state and nation will descend on Waco for this boat race and cultural event, Please contact us if you’re interested in learning more about advertising opportunities.
TEAM Waco Highlight:
“As a child, I was in the CPS system on and off due to unfit parents who were neglectful, abusive, and drug addicts. I had the odds stacked against me when it came to life. I was constantly told I wouldn’t graduate high school and I’d amount to nothing. In 2008, I was the first out of five sibling to graduate high school. After high school, I joined the military because I had no plans to attend college. It simply was not in my future, so I thought. After serving a tour in Iraq at the age of 19, I grew up quickly to say the least. After coming back to the states, I attended college and became the first to graduate college from my family and to graduate from graduate school!
I’ve been running since 2013 and have accomplished so much in that area, still have some goals to accomplish. But I wanted to expand my athletic ability. So when I saw GWSC accepting applicants for Ironman Waco and Ironman Waco 70.3, I was hesitant but jumped at the opportunity. I was floored to have been accepted to TEAM Waco!
I applied to TEAM Waco because I want people to know no matter what your past was, if the odds are stacked against you or whatever it may be, it DOES NOT determine your future. You CAN beat the odds! I’m no elite athlete but some of the BEST athletes come from nothing.”
“THIS HAS BEEN LIFE CHANGING”
“I FEEL LIKE A CELEBRITY”
“YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT KIND OF IMPACT THIS IS HAVING ON US”
“WE FEEL LIKE A FAMILY”
These are phrases folks in the community are hearing from our 6 members of TEAM Waco – our local county resident scholarship winners training for the IRONMAN in October.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been 3 months of training for TEAM Waco. Fortunately, the team still has 4.5 months left to get un final competition shape. Jessie, Angel, Ericka, Cooper, Michaela, and Caleb have been fighting through the process to train mentally and physically and couldn’t do it without the help and support of the community.
Over the past month, we got to visit with each member and hear more of their story. We recorded them in our brand new podcast series that you can listen to here. Get ready to be inspired by your own neighbors from our community. You won’t be able to listen to just one!
In an effort to grow the support of this TEAM, we also came out with some new merchandise! Proceeds will help fund this year and future year’s teams. You have the option to purchase shirts and stickers directly from us or explore a few more options through our online store.
Local Event News Updates
Beast of the Brazos:
Due to some unforeseen complications, the Greater Waco Sports Commission has changed the date of our 3rd annual Beast of the Brazos to Sunday, September 11! This 1.2m and 2.4m swim replicates the IRONMAN swim course. This event has grown year after year and brings athletes from all over the state since there are so few similar races to compete in. If you’re interested in a corporate partnership or simply volunteering, please let us know and we’d be thrilled to visit with you to share more.
News Updates and Volunteer Opportunities
TAPPSCON2022 (June 6-10th): Athletic Directors from across the state will come together to be equipped and help one another for the seasons ahead.
USA Texas Tennis (June 25-26th): Junior Team Tennis National Qualifying Tournament will be held at Waco Regional Tennis Center.
TAPPS 7v7 & 6v6 Football (June 24-25th): Competitions will happen here in Waco for a number of visiting teams!
GFNY Waco (June 26th): This cycling race allows you to race like a pro! There is still room for registration and the opportunity to volunteer. Non-profits can fundraise through volunteer opportunities. Contact us for more information.
TRI WACO (July 10th): An event from the Greater Waco Chamber, this annual triathlon features sprint and Olympic distance events using the Brazos River, Cameron Park and a spectator friendly bike course!
ITF Men’s 15K Futures (7/3-10): This pro tournament has a $15K purse and will be played at the Hurd Tennis Center.
Beast of the Brazos (September 11th): The annual race has move up two weeks.
Waco Wild West (September 24th): The “Skittles” Race will continue with its rich tradition.
Texas Tennis Coaches Association 3A State Team Tennis Championship (3/10-11/23): Grateful to host this event for the Waco region next spring!
The Executive Director’s Message
By Mike Vogelaar
It’s hard to believe this week marked my 1 year anniversary with the Greater Waco Sports Commission. It has been a blessing to be a part of
this community and help people grow. There’s so many projects that I’m so proud of that we’ve been working. One of those is TEAM Waco. Helping local residents find their voice and giving them a platform to share their story through our podcast is why the Greater Waco Sports Commission exists. You can support these individuals through our online store in the near future.
I also wanted to give a special shout out to the Crawford Softball Team! Congrats on winning the 2A State Championship!