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State Games of America coming to area soon

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By: Rod Short
Sports Editor
 sports@bedfordbulletin.com

     The greater Lynchburg area will soon be the site of the State Games of America from July 31 to August 4.
    What is it? The State Games of America (SGA) will be an Olympic-style event featuring competition between medal winners from other State Games events throughout the country.
    This national festival is held every two years, with the last games being held in 2017 in Grand Rapids, MI.
    This year’s event will be held in conjunction with the Virginia Commonwealth Games at Liberty University.
    “The Commonwealth Games have always been an exciting time for these athletes and an energizing time for our community,” said Jerry Falwell, President of Liberty University. “This Summer we are excited to host not only Virginia’s athletes, but athletes from all across the country, as they come to compete in State Games of America.”
    The SGA will be an organized community effort with Virginia Amateur Sports, Liberty, and the City of Lynchburg all working with the University of Lynchburg, Randolph College, Lynchburg City Schools, Sweetbriar College, local businesses and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
    Presenters will include Liberty University, Centra, WSET-TV ABC 13, Kroger, Construction Management Associates, Ford, and the City of Lynchburg.    
    With over 5,000 athletes currently registered for 48 different sports, there are over 2,000 room nights booked in the Lynchburg area hotels as well as in Roanoke and Christiansburg. Athletes will be coming in from 45 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.
    All Virginia residents are automatically eligible to register as the host state.
     There will be 10 new sports added to the schedule for this Summer – Kayaking, Outdoor Soccer, Footgolf, Floorball, Yoga, Ninja Challenge and four new shooting events – 3 Position, Air Rifle, BB Gun and Rimfire.
    Partnerships with American Footgolf League, USA Yoga, USA Floorball and the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association are helping to bring these new events to not only State Games of America but to Virginia. Due to these partnerships, for the first time ever, State Games of America will feature three (3) National Championships within the event.
    “The Commonwealth Games – and our partnership with Virginia Amateur Sports and Liberty University – bring thousands of athletes and their families to explore our beautiful City.,” said City of Lynchburg Mayor Treney Tweedy. “Our partnership has received national recognition as we are poised to host the 2019 State Games of America. We are thrilled as both the number of participants and the impact that they have in Lynchburg continues to grow,
    The National Congress of State Games (NCSG) is a membership organization comprised of 34 Summer State Games and 9 Winter State Games organizations and a member of the United States Olympic Committee’s Multi Sports Organizational Council.  Their mission is to support member organizations in the promotion of health, fitness and character building through Olympic- style competitions featuring gold, silver and bronze medal winners from across the nation.
    The State Games of America will officially kick off with the Opening Ceremony on August 2 at 7:00 PM in Williams Stadium at Liberty University. Tickets are currently available for purchase online for this  event.