President’s Message—March, 2020
‘Hogs Breath of Fresh Air’
At a time when racquetball-handball courts are being transitioned; or, demolished along with old, tired buildings, suffice to say that some forgotten complexes are still around! Recently, when I was in Los Angeles, I visited the NASC (Norwalk Arts & Sports Complex). Norwalk, a bedroom city of 100,000+ residents, sits about 20 miles east of the Los Angeles International Airport. There, one will encounter the Wild Hogs, a group of 25 individuals who have an investment in our sport. Perhaps not the most technically sound athletes, they embolden a quality that is far more serving. It is called PASSION. Sparked by ringleader and drummer Jerry Anaya, this group, ranging in age from 50 to 85, can be seen each weekday between 8am and 10am at the venue. Mostly doubles games are played on four contiguous courts; where movement, laughter, and friendships are shared.
Over the past twenty years I have received numerous inquiries asking how can we ‘save the courts.’ The number one response is and should be, PROGRAM! Problematic is that when the question enters the airwaves, the decision usually has already been made. The justification for the decision is, ‘we are doing it in the name of fitness and dollars per square foot.’ Let us avoid reaching that point. We must overcome this poor decision-making by those in the hierarchy, many having not completed their homework. They are often fly by nights who happen to find themselves in an authoritative position; yet, lack history, business acumen, and promotional skills. They act on hearsay, leading a transition to new construction which may ultimately cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Remember, the infrastructure is and has been in the venues for many years. The original investment is complete, and annual expenditures for upkeep can be little in comparison to other income centers.
In closing, for all the advocates of controlled growth and sustainability, an assignment follows for each of us. By month’s end, let us identify 2 facilities nearby which house one or more courts. Check the hardware, the lighting, and the court floors. Are lines drawn (doubles box lines, receiving line, and drive serve lines). Their inclusion (or not) can give us immediate feedback as to whether there is an engaged playing community; or, whether the courts have been generally dormant for a long period of time. Contact the operator and program director. Finally, develop a relationship with them that encourages growing or re-establishing their court programs. With your skills and their acceptance, the bottom line for all will be enhanced.
March 27-29 New Mexico State Singles & Juniors; Midtown Sports & Wellness, Albq.
April 16-19 Kachina Invitational; Garcia Recreation Center, Gallup, NM
April 23-26 Santa Fe National; El Gancho, Santa Fe, NM
May 1-3 Pojoaque Racquetball Resumes; Pojoaque Wellness Center, Santa Fe, NM
May 8-10 Pagosa Spring; PLPOA, Pagosa Springs, CO
May 15-17 Meadow City Handball; Montoya Rec Center, Las Vegas, NM
June 4-7 M & M Classic; Zach’s Club, Lubbock, TX
June 25-28 NM Games Indoor Court Festival; Midtown Sports & Wellness, Albuquerque
QUOTE OF THE MONTH…
‘Nothing in this world is permanent, not even your troubles’ Anon
Some Wild Hogs with Mazaroff (photo)