WARSAW — 2018 could end up a big year for National sports in Warsaw.
The board of Convention, Recreation and Visitors commission approved three grants to Grace and the City Lake Skiers in effort to see three national championships in 2018 Wednesday morning at the Kosciusko County Courthouse.
Grace College has sealed two of the national competitions already for 2018. The college has once again won the bid to bring the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association National Basketball Tournament for the next three years. Grace College Athletic Director Chad Briscoe requested $6,000 for marketing for the event.
Grace has played host to the NCCAA tournament since 2012, bringing in 16 teams who play over a week span for the Division I title. Unlike other tournaments, teams will be moved to a secondary bracket as they are eliminated and keep the teams around the full week.
Similarly to the basketball championship, Grace College secured the NCCAA Track National Championships for 2018 and 2019. Briscoe requested $8,000 in promotional support for the event. Briscoe estimated the event to bring in over 500 student athletics and “anticipates a larger economic impact” with parents and team staff coming as well for the two day event. Grace anticipates maxing out inns in the Kosciusko area and have begun reaching out to Plymouth and Columbia City to find hosting accommodations for the teams coming in for this event. Briscoe emphasized Grace’s “excite(ment) to fill every hotel in Kosciusko County.”
The NCCAA moved the dates of the event to help Grace College host the event followed by graduation that Saturday. Upon receiving the bid, one school has already reserved 15 rooms within the area. “With the track now with us hosting it, you have a lot more regional teams…that are going to bring more people than we would even anticipate for basketball championships. I’m anticipating an influx of people from a regional standpoint, meaning Michigan, Illinois, Ohio that will come and be apart of this event,” informed Briscoe.
Prior to Grace’s request, Chuck McLaughlin of the Lake City Skiers requested $11,102.44 for new equipment and facility improvements in hopes to gain the DI National Tournament. Lake City Skiers has seen a drastically increased over the last year, seeing a 50 percent increase in membership and a high in event attendance with 1,500 people.
McLaughlin believes the improvements of the facilities and buying new equipment will not only allow the group to grow but also help the Lake City Skiers to secure the DI National Tournament. The encore performance being held at 4 p.m. Sept. 16 has had “6,000 people responded on (their) Facebook page.” The event would bring in 2,000 athletes competing in the tournament as well as an unknown amount of spectators.
All requests were approved. The board will meet again on Nov. 8 at 9 a.m.
In other news:
- Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams put in three requests for a total of $58,765 for marketing and operating expenses. Two of the three requests were approved with the third tabled for discussion.
- The CCAC requested $40,000 for operations.
- $16,000 of the commission’s grant budget remains for the 2017 year.