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Rockford Park District honored at sports convention

ROCKFORD — The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, along with and 14 other bureaus from Illinois, honored the Rockford Park District at the Sports Illinois Huddle Conference held at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center May 20-22.

The park district was awarded the Host Impact Grant for their “Help me Play” fund that will provide financial support so all youth can access and experience the lifelong benefits of play through the Rockford Park District. Its 2018 goal is to assist 3,500 youth and adults with disabilities with the opportunity to play. RACVB will provide a matching grant of $1,000, elevating the available grant funding to $2,000 supporting their efforts this year.

“The Rockford Park District team does an exceptional job improving the Rockford community in a variety of ways. Their plan to support youth in our community by giving them more opportunities to play in a variety of sports activities is right in line with the purpose of this grant program,” said Lindsay Arellano, RACVB vice president of sales and service and Sports Illinois chair. “The Sports Illinois members hope that with this grant program we can impact sports programming on a local level in a variety of communities in Illinois for years to come.”

The purpose of the Sports Illinois Huddle Host Impact Grant—launched in partnership with the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) in 2018—is to provide the host community’s area nonprofits the opportunity to access grant funding from Sports Illinois that is earmarked for positively impacting sports programs locally.

The conference also showcased presentations by elite sports athletes sharing their personal stories, including the journey and successes of how they achieved renowned accolades and international recognition. 

The speaker lineup included Kendall Coyne, gold medal Olympian as part of the USA women’s hockey team in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; Lia Coryell, member of Team USA in the World Archery Para Championships and Parapan American Championships teams and United States Army veteran; and Dr. Kat Williams, professor of women’s sport history, president of the International Women’s Baseball Center, lifelong baseball fan, author and former shortstop. 

Sports Illinois Huddle is an educational conferenc and tradeshow produced by the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitor Bureaus’ Sports Illinois. R.


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