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Amateur Update: Looking back with pride on Disability Games

When preparing to host the National Junior Disability Championship (NJDC), we felt the event would be considerably more demanding than the events we usually host.

Right out of the gate, we were aware of the hundreds of volunteers needed and the challenge of recruitment and coordination of that task. Then we had to raise approximately $40,000 in sponsorship, something we rarely do for events. We understood that would not be easy either.

As the NJDC wraps up we realize Rochester made the event a complete success. Let me list the reasons why:

• One – our volunteers really stepped up! We had 340 volunteers sign up, show up and help with numerous tasks the events required. Not only did they show up, but they were on time, polite, enthusiastic and caring towards our guests. They helped make each aspect of this event successful. Thank you to all who helped!

• Two – our businesses that helped sponsor the event. Area businesses stepped up and helped meet the requirements including Shjon Podein and Team 25 with the title sponsor.

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• Three – the dedicated leadership of tournament director Ben Boldt. Ben gave endless hours before, during and after the event, to ensure every aspect of the event went off without issue (which it did).

• Four – our local media. Never had the championship been covered in such detail. The Post Bulletin pictures and articles, KTTC and KAAL video stories were talked about by the athletes, families and NJDC leadership. These efforts truly made a positive impression on all those involved.

• Five – the Sports Commission staff. I was proud to observe a staff and interns who gave 100 percent as long as was needed each day and did so for eight days straight – always with a positive attitude and smile.

• Six – our local hosting sport groups. We had volunteers from the Rochester Swim Club Orcas, Rochester Table Tennis, Archery Headquarters, K-M powerlifting and Century track who provided the expertise and leadership their sports required.

• Seven – a dedicated group of leaders from the NJDC. These people reflect dedication and passion to putting these games on. Without them, the event would not be a reality.

• Finally – the athletes and their families. If you took the time to follow any aspect of these quality people who amazed us with their attitudes and abilities, you know they are all champions!

The organization, their athletes and families will move on to a new location for the 2014 championships. However, one has to believe that following the hosting of this year's event – Rochester has certainly performed as a winner and should be proud of the accomplishment as the 2013 NJDC host city!

Amateur Update is a weekly column on amateur sports activities in Southeastern Minnesota provided by the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission.

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July 19-21: MN Swimming Regional Championship.

Aug. 1-4:ASA Fastpitch Northern Nationals.

Sept. 6-7:RCTC Volleyball Invitational.

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