Texas Winter Games comes to Pearland

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Texas Winter Games comes to Pearland
The Winter Games of Texas, a statewide Olympic-style amateur sporting event, will be held in Pearland on Jan. 12-14 for the first time.

For the past 12 years, the event has been held in Frisco. Pearland won a two-year bid from the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation to host the games in 2018 and 2019.

“The games have been in Frisco for quite some time and have become a regional draw rather than a statewide event,” said Kim Sinistore, executive director of the Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

After the two years in Pearland, different cities–Pearland included–can bid to have the games held in its city.

“It gives people the opportunity to get acclimated to the area … We find that moving things around especially on this level is very beneficial for [the tourism] industry,” Sinistore said.

Pearland has quick access to Hwy. 288, I-45, I-69 and the Sam Houston Parkway, making it ideal for sports tournament planners, Sinistore said.

“Because this event has been hosted in Frisco for so long, we do expect people coming from the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” said Carry Capers, assistant director at the Pearland Parks and Recreation Department.

The Pearland Visitors Bureau is pairing with the city’s parks and recreation department to host the games, which will consist of a three-day sporting event for amateur athletes.

“We’re very excited to host this prestigious event in Pearland and [we] look forward to welcoming athletes from across the state to our city,” Sinistore said.

The event is hosted by Texas Amateur Athletic Federation.

“TAAF is extremely excited about the confirmation of the city of Pearland hosting the 2018-2019 TAAF Winter Games of Texas. The location, quality of sport venues, along with the ‘South Texas’ welcoming attitude are the prefect ingredients for an awesome event,” Executive Director of TAAF Mark Long said.

Based off the Olympic Games, the event includes 16 different competitions, including archery, football, gymnastics, pickle ball, lacrosse and wheelchair rugby, to name a few.

In addition to applying for hosting the games, the city and the visitor’s bureau are also responsible for securing facilities, marketing, sponsorships, coordinating with local police departments and more.

“The level of preparation is pretty extensive,” Capers said.

One of the city’s main marketing strategies is the Follow the Flag campaign. With the Follow the Flag campaign, local business owners and patrons can purchase a flag for the athletes and spectators to “follow” as a beacon as they drive into Pearland.

“This is a citywide event and we are really wanting the community to take hold of this because it’s really going to benefit everyone,” Sinistore said.

The city relies on the help of volunteers for the event, Capers said. For anyone interested, volunteer registration is open online, as is registration to participate as an athlete. Registration is open and available on TAAF’s website: www.TAAF.com.
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