Hardwood success | NevadaAppeal.com

Hardwood success

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

The Gym at Venturacci Park has been a success for the city of Fallon and Churchill County since opening in May 2012.

A success or rebirth can be said about the Gym at Venturacci Park.

It is all the city of Fallon and Churchill County hoped it would be. The spacious new facility started slowly, organizing logistics and with open gyms, but it has grown with the addition of sports camps and new programs and events in past several months.

Now the gym readies for 2014 and a host of events, camps and leagues in the coming months including the Fallon Youth Club's dodgeball tournament Jan. 25 and the county's 3-on-3 adult coed basketball league, which starts Feb. 18.

"We want to make it available to the public as much as possible, which is the whole concept of open gym," City Administrative Assistant Val Lightfoot said.

The 12,500-square foot recreation hub has blossomed into a go-to center for the area's residents, especially youths, according Lightfoot. The open gym schedule, which the city maintains, is a pivotal aspect of the gym, she said.

The gym averages about 60 people per day during open gym. Current open gym hours are on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

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"We've had pretty good success with that," Lightfoot said of the open gym.

Danny Gleich, recreation supervisor for the county, echoed Lightfoot's sentiments and said the gym has opened up numerous possibilities. In addition, he said the coordination and ideas between the city and county has flourished.

Gleich praised Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford Jr. for an enthusiastic approach to the ideas tossed around at the Parks and Recreation Department.

"Working with the city has been great," Gleich said. "They have been very receptive to what we've wanted to put in there. They have even pushed us to get more in there."

As for the asthetics, all who have come across the gym remember to use the shoe buffers, an item stressed by city officials before the grand opening last spring.

But the center is not just an athletic warehouse, community groups have used the facility for several events including a community fair by the Churchill County Social Services.

With a well-kept facility, Gleich said a goal for county and city is to secure a club volleyball tournament in the future. He said the efforts will focus on bringing a tournament either this summer or next.

"It's on our minds for the future," Gleich said. "It's what we want to try first because I think it would be the easier one to manage. We can easily get two courts going at one time."

As for future events, Gleich said the county aims to organize a youth indoor soccer league in late March through May and another run at the Cinco De Mayo basketball tournament. Banner Churchill Community Hospital, meanwhile, will host its National Cancer Survivor Day on June 1 at the gym and Venturacci Park.

"We have had a lot of kids playing a lot of sports with not a lot of space (in the past)," Gleich said. "It's been a good first year for the gym. It has opened a lot of programming options. I'm so used to being hamstrung by what we could do."

Upcoming events

For information or to register for the Jan. 25 dodgeball tournament, contact the Fallon Youth Club at 775-423-6926 or visit the club at 545 E. Richards St.

Teams are comprised of up to eight players and costs $150 per team or $30 for individuals. Event consists of pool play and tournament.

For information about the county programs, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 775-423-7733.

The 3-on-3 coed basketball league costs $100 per team and each team will play two games per night. The league starts Feb. 18.

To schedule an event, contact Val Lightfoot at City Hall at 775-423-3040.

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