Chandler architect John Ball has been elected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to serve a two-year term on the board of the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.
Ball, whose 17-year-old daughter Holly has been training since last fall in Park City, Utah, in hopes of making the Olympic team in the near future, will be involved in rebuilding the USBSF “from scratch due to previous bad management.”
“I volunteered myself because the organization is in dire need of help,” John Ball said. “I’ve fixed athletic organizations many times.”
His fixing-up resumé includes a stint as a director of the Rio Salado Rowing Club where he secured the single largest charitable contribution in the club’s history. He also served as president of the Valley of the Sun Youth Hockey Association. Ball reinstated the club’s 501(c)3 status after it had fallen out of compliance, and turned the association around from unprofitable to profitable.
This skill may come in handy on a personal level.
“I need to raise $100,000 or so in the next couple of months to fund Holly’s world tour this coming season,” Ball said in anticipation of his daughter qualifying for the national team at tryouts in November, then going on to compete at 10 tracks in Europe.
The younger Ball is now working with three coaches (strength/conditioning, push/start/driver, sprinting) who have national team experience, to improve her chances.
The obvious question is, with John’s appointment to the U.S. committee will there be a conflict of interest where Holly is involved.
“On the contrary,” he said. “It is a negative to have a parent on the board ... jealousy and perceived favoritism.”
But the Ball family has its bases covered. John’s term will end before Holly’s 2010 Vancouver Olympic career begins. At least that’s the plan.
And then there’s that littler matter of $100,000.
“Even a nice used sled can cost $50,000,” Ball said.
You can contact Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org
ALSO OF OLYMPIC PROPORTION
The Arizona Olympic Development Program for soccer sent two teams (boys and girls 13 and younger) to Europe to play in the Gothia Cup (www.gothiacup.com).
The event, which is billed as the largest international youth tournament in the world, featured more than 1,500 teams from 65 countries.
“These kids had to try out and then get picked for a pool of about 50 players,” according to David Cruz, father of one of the players who made the girls team. “All of these players are the best that Arizona had to offer in that age bracket.”
From that pool, the players tried out for the travel team. The Olympic Development Program then chose the top 18 players for both the boys and girls squads.
The teams trained in England at Manchester United’s facility with its coaches.
The girls won their 47-team division, shutting out all eight opponents.
“I think it’s great for Arizona soccer,” Cruz said. “For us to send a team of great young athletes to play against the world, then win it all. That is great.”
Maya Aldaghi (Tucson), Ivee Barton (Scottsdale), Katie Boyle (Anthem), Maddy Bradshaw (Cave Creek), Courtney Chung (Peoria), Sheridan Cohen (Tucson), Brittany Cruz (Mesa), Sarina Dhaliwal (Mesa), Laura Glew (Chandler), Hannah Hartke (Mesa), Amber Hayes (Gilbert), Paige Johnson (Chandler), Paige McFarland (Tucson), Chloe Newell (Tucson), Meaghan Pasbrig (Chandler), Arianna Resendiz (Tucson), Sydney Tomlinson (Mesa) and Jennifer Stuart (Cave Creek) are the team members. The girls are coached by Jennifer Klein (Tucson).
In the boys age group, the Arizona entry finished eighth among 120 teams.
“That says a lot for the development of players from not only our state but our country as well,” Cruz said.
Arizona teams once again turned in a strong performance at the Scholastic Clay Target Program Skeet and Sporting Clays National Championships held July 14-15, with eight squads finishing in the top three in the various age divisions — the best showing of any state.
“All of the Arizona squads performed exceptionally well,” says Ashley Lynch, shooting sports coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Not only did all of our athletes contribute to bringing home the iron, they proved themselves to be great ambassadors for Arizona shooting sports.”
The East Valley was represented by the Red Mountain Target Terminators from the Red Mountain Trap and Skeet Club located in Scottsdale. Teams from the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix and Ft. Huachuca won national titles.
“We tied with Ft. Huachuca to win the most trophies (seven) in the nation,” said Wayne Mennetti, who works at the club along with his wife, club manager Jennifer Mennetti.
Coaches Terry Abbott, John Olson and Jim Rasmussen also play an important part in the youth program at the club.
In the skeet varsity division (grades 9-12) Kyle Wandelear of Queen Creek, Patrick Wood of Scottsdale and Kaitlyn Borie of Phoenix placed third and in the skeet intermediate division (grades 6-8); Wesley Borie, Ryan Bollinger and Kyle Johnson (all of Phoenix) placed second.
The Red Mountain team of Stephen Fuller of Phoenix, Zachary Clark of Phoenix and Cody Kime of Chandler finished second in sporting clays.
The two-day competition, held at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, was the largest skeet and sporting clays championship in SCTP history. Nineteen states were represented among the nearly 400 shooters in varsity, junior varsity, intermediate and rookie divisions.
Arizona squads will get another crack at national titles when they compete in the national trap championships on Aug. 5-7 in Sparta, Ill.
Looking for OHV volunteers
New program: The Arizona State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) is launching its Ambassador Volunteer Program. Volunteers will play a vital role in maintaining high-quality OHV recreation opportunities, monitoring OHV trails, roads, and facilities and participating in site improvements and user outreach in cooperation with local land managers. Training for volunteers will take place Sept. 15-16. The three pilot locations for volunteer involvement include the Lake Pleasant/Bradshaw Foothills area, Granite Mountain multi-use area in North Scottsdale and the Middle Gila Canyons and Desert Wells multi-use areas near Florence Junction. Applications must be submitted to Arizona State Parks by Aug. 6, to be considered for the initial training weekend. For more information and to download an application go to the Arizona State Parks website under Off-Highway Vehicle Program at www.azstateparks.com or call (602) 542-4174.
Splish, splash: Camp for all high school aged swimmers — from beginners to advanced — is running through Aug. 3 at Greenfield Jr. Pool in Gilbert (southwest corner of Greenfield and Elliot roads). Sessions will be conducted by Brendan Keyes (Gilbert High School), Patrick Tolson (Mesquite High School) and Crysti Jones (Desert Ridge High School). Cost is $125 for two weeks or $100 for one week. Call (480) 510-2635.
Play ball: Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley-Chandler Compadre Branch is sponsoring its annual NFL flag football league for youth ages 6-11 with registration through Aug. 17. Cost is $30 and a one-time $20 annual club membership fee. Games will be played weekdays after 5:30 p.m. at Chandler Boys & Girls Clubs football fields. Register at the Compadre Branch Monday-Friday from noon-6 p.m. Call Tyler Vasquez at (480) 899-8302.
You can do it
For a complete list of East Valley recreation events, visit evtrib.com and click on the calendar. You can also post your own event. Just follow the instructions and get the word out!
Know someone who deserves mention in East Valley Victories? E-mail or call Billye Jill Paulson at email@example.com or (480) 898-6862.