San Antonio Sports named as finalist in Aetna Voices of Health Campaign

SA Sports logo colorSan Antonio Sports announced that they are a finalist in the 2013 “Aetna Voices of Health” national campaign. Voting for the campaign takes place at and goes through October 13. San Antonio Sports is the only finalist from San Antonio.

Aetna will award $30,000 to the group that gets the most online votes and $20,000 to the second-place finisher. All of the finalists promote wellness locally by fighting conditions like asthma, diabetes and childhood obesity, which hit minorities at higher rates.

San Antonio Sports is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform our community through the power of sport. San Antonio Sports recognizes the link between healthy bodies and healthy minds and works every day to provide sports and fitness programs that inspire children and their families to live active, healthy lives.

“We are thrilled to be named a finalist in the ‘Aetna Voices of Health’ campaign,” said Russ Bookbinder, President & CEO of San Antonio Sports. “This campaign is a great opportunity to promote the important work we are doing in the community. The focus of our submission, our Fit Family Challenge, is a 12-week summer event series motivating San Antonio families to learn about and increase physical activity and healthy nutrition. It has grown every year and is changing lives.”

The “Aetna Voices of Health” website features a one-minute video from San Antonio Sports describing how the prize money would help the organization achieve its mission.

“There are a lot of great organizations participating, and we appreciate any support we receive,” said Bookbinder. “We encourage people to share our video and campaign through social media and spread the word.”

Aetna created “Voices of Health” in 2011 to honor groups that share its goals of closing racial and ethnic health care inequality gaps and helping people live healthier lives. The campaign is part of its support of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project. Aetna donated $1.275 million to support the project, with a portion of its gift used to help plant 180 new cherry trees at the memorial site in Washington, D.C.

About San Antonio Sports
San Antonio Sports is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1984, with a mission to “transform our community though the power of sport.” Our goals are to bring events that impact—like NCAA Championships; develop healthy kids through our in-and after school programs; and provide places to play, like SPARK—a school park program that is turning public elementary and middle school property into neighborhood parks to be enjoyed by the community outside of school hours. Recognized as one of the premier sports commissions in the nation, San Antonio Sports’ staff has more than 150 years of collective sports management experience.

Registration Open for Bexar County Games Youth Competitions at New Facilities

SASports Bexar County Games logoRegistration is open for track & field, soccer and swimming competitions that are part of the inaugural 2013 Bexar County Games presented by Ancira. Bexar County and San Antonio Sports, the area’s nonprofit sports commission, are co-hosting the 2013 Bexar County Games, a community-wide youth sports competition that will take place in new Bexar County venues that were built with the extension of the visitor tax. Registration fees start at just $5 per athlete and $30 per team.

The track & field competition will be held on Saturday, June 15 at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 1023 Upland. The registration fee is $5 per participant and the entry deadline is June 7, 2013. Depending on his or her age, boys and girls ages 8-18 can enter up to four events and qualify for the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) State Games of Texas .

The soccer competition will be held June 22-23 at Culebra Creek Soccer Complex, 7440 FM 1560. Registration fees start at $30-$50 per team, depending on age group and level of play, or just $5 per participant with a full team. Entry deadline is June 14.

The Bexar County Games are designed to offer affordable access to sport competitions while showcasing the new amateur sports facilities funded by $80 million approved by voters in the Bexar County 2008 venue tax extension. The games will provide an affordable way for local youth to participate in athletic competitions and to qualify for the when eligible. TAAF annually hosts winter and summer games that draw thousands of amateur and recreational competitors from all over the state.

The complete 2013 Bexar County Games schedule is:

Track & Field (Precinct 4)
Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 1023 Upland, 78220
Date: June 15

Soccer (Precinct 2)
Culebra Creek Soccer Complex, 7440 FM 1560, 78254
Date:  June 22 – 23

Swimming (Precinct 3)
  Northside Swim Center, 8400 N. Loop 1604 W., 78249
Date: July 20

Basketball (Precinct 1)
Venue:  Mission Concepción Sports Complex, 714 E. Theo Ave., 78210
Date:  November 9-10

For more information about the Bexar County Games, please visit or call (210) 820-2100.

Bragging Rights at Stake in 2013 San Antonio Sports Corporate Cup

SASports Corporate Cup logoGet your game on at the San Antonio Sports Corporate Cup presented by H-E-B, June 1 at the University of the Incarnate Word.   It’s field day for grownups!  Businesses large and small will participate in 13 sports, from the silly to the competitive.  From tug-of-war to golf chipping to a track relay, your team could win it all! The friendly competition is designed to spur co-worker camaraderie and celebrate community health and fitness.

Hosted by San Antonio Sports, the local sports commission, companies and organizations will be assigned to one of four divisions according to the number of their San Antonio-based employees.  Whether running in a 5K or kicking a soccer ball, employees will accumulate points for their teams. They can also earn points in the Charity Challenge, an opportunity to contribute goods and services to three local charities: The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, the San Antonio Food Bank and Haven for Hope.  The Corporate Cup trophy and year-long bragging rights will be awarded to the top team in each division.

“This is not only a fun event for companies large and small, but it will foster a culture of fitness in our community, says Russ Bookbinder, San Antonio Sports’ President & CEO. “It’s a win-win-win event.  It promotes health, teamwork and camaraderie among co-workers.”

Proceeds from the Corporate Cup will support San Antonio Sports’ kids programs, which provide sports and fitness opportunities for more than 180,000 local children annually.  Visit for San Antonio Sports Corporate Cup details or call 210-820-2100.

Silver & Black Give Back

spurs 25th AnnySilver & Black Give Back, the nonprofit partner for Spurs Sports & Entertainment’s family of teams, is excited to celebrate our 25th anniversary with you! We are honored and grateful to everyone who has participated in our programs over the last 25 years, and we are especially grateful to donors – like our Silver Circle partners – who continue to invest in our youth sports and youth led service initiatives. Thank you for making this anniversary so special.

Our programs give youth the opportunity to impact our community – through character leadership and education based service projects. We are continually amazed at the work our youth accomplish. Two years ago, the Johnson High School Key Club participated in the inaugural year of the Team Up Challenge, one of our premiere initiatives. Throughout the school year the club volunteered at the San Antonio Food Bank and researched the benefits of home gardens. Lauren Tsai, their junior president, was a Parade All-American finalist for her leadership in the fight against childhood hunger.

The Johnson High School Key Club was one of five Team Up Challenge Champions to receive a $20,000 award. The group donated their winnings to the San Antonio Food Bank. Through their work they were able to feed over 4,000 children.

spurs Johnson High School 5

But the service of the Key Club is just one of many stories. Students involved in the Team Up Challenge – now in its third year – have volunteered over 12,000 hours on projects focusing on issues like hunger, bullying, obesity, diabetes, college readiness, refugee assimilation, stray animal rescue, literacy and teen driver safety.

To join in our 25th anniversary celebration and to see more inspiring stories, visit

Valero Texas Open, Benefit for Children Golf Classic – coming April 1-8, 2013

Valero logoValero is looking forward to the upcoming Valero Texas Open golf tournament and its companion fundraising event, the Benefit for Children Golf Classic, which will take place April 1-8. The Valero Texas Open – an annual PGA TOUR event featuring some of professional golf’s top players – takes place at the TPC San Antonio course, located at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. The Benefit for Children Golf Classic features more than 2,000 players who sign up in foursomes to play on 10 local courses around San Antonio.

There are some new elements to this year’s tournament. The tournament will be played the week before the Masters tournament, which means it’s likely that more top-notch pros will play. And the tournament has a new director, announcing last September that Greg Norman Production Company, a subsidiary of Great White Shark Enterprises, will oversee management of the annual PGA TOUR event. GNPC also manages the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Riviera Maya, Mexico and the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples, Fla., a PGA TOUR Challenge Season event. The management agreement ensures that World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman will have a presence at the TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course, which he designed.

GNPC has appointed Larson Segerdahl, who has served as the Tournament Director for the Mayakoba Golf Classic since the event’s inception in 2007, to oversee the Valero Texas Open and its staff from its San Antonio office.

Valero_Texas_Open_2012_Photos_By_Gary_Perkins_1501For all the changes, the Valero Texas Open retains all of the traditions that have made it a special stop for pro golfers. Combined with the Benefit for Children, the Valero Texas Open is the largest fundraising tournament on the PGA TOUR. In the 11 years that Valero has been the tournament’s title sponsor, more than $71.5 million has been donated to charities. The 2012 Valero Texas Open, won by Ben Curtis, together with the Valero Texas Open Benefit for Children Golf Classic contributed $9 million to charities. And in mid-2012, Valero announced it would extend its title sponsorship through the 2018 tournament.

Tens of thousands of spectators enjoy the Valero Texas Open each year, making it one of the highest-attended professional sporting events in San Antonio each year. Spectators are joined by the thousands of volunteers who make the tournament possible.

Tickets are available online at or at San Antonio-area Valero Corner Stores. Tickets are free for children 12 and under and to active-duty military personnel and their families.

San Antonio Sports President/CEO Russ Bookbinder Seeks Community Participation

By Russ Bookbinder, President & CEO

SASLogoCan you imagine the Alamodome with two swimming pools inside?  And having the eyes of the nation upon our city as Olympic champions Brendan Hansen, Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, and our own Jimmy Fiegen compete for a spot on Team USA?  And being able to see the action LIVE and in-person?  San Antonio is one of six cities bidding to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials for Swimming.  It’s just one of the many events San Antonio Sports bids on and hosts each year that have a multi-million dollar economic impact on our city.

SAS Russ photoAs President/CEO of San Antonio Sports, I’m looking forward to leading our efforts to attract marquee amateur athletic events to San Antonio. This year we are hosting 21 events, including the NCAA 2013 Women’s Elite Eight, NCAA National Collegiate Fencing Championships, and the USA Track & Field Jr. Olympic Cross Country Championships.  We also host our very own event that you and your employees won’t want to miss: San Antonio Sports Corporate Cup, a daylong friendly competition that encourages camaraderie, wellness, charitable giving and athleticism.

While events are the bread and butter of our organization, it is serving the kids of our community that personally provides me with the greatest motivation. Our afterschool program currently serves 500 children in San Antonio and Harlandale ISD’s and it’s our goal to grow this program significantly in the next three years. Students in grades 3-5 receive UIL sports training, character education and nutrition information. Every championship event we host has a youth component that exposes kids to the sport and offers special clinics. The San Antonio Sports Valero Go!Kids Challenge is celebrating its 10th anniversary this spring. If you have or know an elementary school-aged child, join them in being active 60 minutes a day, six days a week and encourage them to drink more water.

San Antonio Sports is one of the premier sports commissions in the country and we will continue to operate at the highest level. I invite you to be a part of our team – as a volunteer, a member, a sponsor or participant. As we bid on and host major events, please consider showing your support as a member or corporate sponsor or join our volunteer corps. To learn more about us, please visit

San Antonio to Host U.S. Paralympics Valor Games Southwest

Games to provide more opportunities for Veterans and service members with physical disabilities to participate in sports at the community level

SASLogoSan Antonio Sports is proud to host the Valor Games Southwest, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee. The games will be held September 24-26 in five sports at three locations around the city.

The Valor Games were established in 2011 by World Sport Chicago in partnership with U.S. Paralympics and Veterans Affairs to provide an introductory sports competition for Veterans and service members with a physical disability and to promote sports at the community level. Due to the success of the 2011 and 2012 Valor Games Midwest, the competition for Veterans and service members with a physical disability has been expanded to three additional regions across the country.

“This is a great way to expose a lot of service members to the world of disabled sports,” said Paralympian Ross Davis, event manager for Valor Games Southwest and director of marketing for San Antonio Sports.  “These games will show the opportunities out there for sports and recreation, as well as the transformational power of sport.”

Additional sites include the Valor Games Southeast in Durham, N.C., Valor Games Midwest in Chicago, and the Valor Games Far West in San Jose, Calif. Funding for all four of the competitions is being provided by Veterans Affairs.

Qualifying athletes include veterans or active duty service members from any era. Their physical disabilities may fall into the following categories:

  • Amputation/Limb Loss
  • Post-traumatic Stress
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Visual Disabilities
  • Any disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair

To learn more about the sports being offered in each region, the registration process and volunteer opportunities, please visit the websites below.

May 21-23, Durham, N.C. –
June TBD, San Jose, Calif. –
August 12-14, Chicago, Illinois –
September 24-26, San Antonio, Texas –