Sports

Service award helps Mariana Mitova rally support for sports program for kids with special needs

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Receiving the Faculty Senate’s Community Involvement award wasn’t just a boost for Mariana Mitova. It was also a boost for the causes she espouses, especially RallyCap Sports. Mitova, who teaches in Bowling Green State University Apparel Merchandising and Product Development Program, said that in addition to being a personal recognition – “the glass plaque is proudly displayed in my office” – being honored last year has greatly benefited RallyCap Sports. The program, which was founded by alumnus Paul Hooker, offers the chance to be active in sports to young people with special needs. BGSU was the first campus to host the program.  (click for related story.) Mitova is the BGSU chapter advisor, and her son, who is blind, is a participant. Mitova told Faculty Senate Tuesday that her recognition has increased awareness about the program, donations have increased to RallyCap, and more faculty became interested. They then promoted it to other families who may benefit. Her receiving the award is being used by this at national headquarters who are trying to find campus advisors at the 12 other RallyCap locations. Mitova said she used the monetary award to host a dinner for 22 core student volunteers. (More than 1,000 students volunteer putting in more than 5,200 volunteer hours.) Those broader effects, said Mitova, are the reason faculty members should take seriously the calls for nominations. If Associate Dean Mary Murray had not nominated Mitova this would not have happened. She conceded faculty get a lot of emails, and it’s easy to delete them. Mitova said she deleted the first two calls for nominations herself. “Guilty as charged,” she admitted But after being asked to address senate, “I started thinking more about what would have happened if Dr. Murray hit the delete button,” she said. “Instead she took the time to solicit support, write the nomination letter, and submit the nomination package.” That time is valuable, Mitova said. “However, she thought this nomination is worth the time.” In addition to RallyCap, Mitova is also active…

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Paralympic champion swimmer Jessica Long to visit BGSU

Submitted WE ARE ONE TEAM  We Are One Team (WA1T), an award-winning initiative to promote social justice through sport at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), is excited to announce its 2017 fall speaker for the WA1T: Our Voices educational series: Jessica Long, 13-time Paralympic gold medalist and second-most decorated Paralympic athlete in U.S. history. On Wednesday, November 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Stroh Center, Long will hold a keynote presentation focused on her inspirational story about being adopted from Russia at a young age to becoming a 13-time Paralympic gold medalist in swimming. The keynote event titled, “We Are One Team (WA1T) Presents: Jessica Long – The Story of a Paralympic Prodigy,” is open tothe public. “I am honored to join Bowling Green State University to promote their We Are One Team (WA1T) initiative,” Long said, “My experience as a Paralympic athlete has taught me the importance of self-confidence and acceptance of others. I hope that by sharing my story, I can help encourage others to redefine ‘normal’ and celebrate our diversity.” “Jessica is a high-profile athlete who has used her platform to create understanding for marginalized members of the sport community,” Yannick Kluch, president of We Are One Team (WA1T), said. “Her drive to promote diversity and inclusion throughout her career make her a perfect speaker for We Are One Team. We are always looking for athletes who break down stereotypes and live authentically no matter what challenges they may face.” Long was born with fibular hemimelia and had both legs amputated at 18 months old. She was involved in many sports growing up before she joined her first competitive swim team at the age of 10. She has competed in four Paralympic games and has won 23 Paralympic medals. Long is also a three-time recipient of the ESPN Best Female Athlete with a Disability ESPY Award. She has been named to Sports Illustrated’s list of “The World’s Best Female Athletes” twice. Currently, Long trains with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. While Long’s keynote presentation as part of…


Study to see if sports complex could score big here

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Parents of young children often pack up the vehicles several weekends of the year to head out to travel ball tournaments. Local economic development officials want to see if they might be able to get a piece of that action. Four entities – Wood County Economic Development Commission plus the cities of Perrysburg, Rossford and Maumee – have invested $15,000 each to have a study conducted on whether or not this area could support a massive sports complex. “I think there is a demand,” said Wood County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Wade Gottschalk. “We all know parents who drive kids to tournaments every weekend. We want to see if there’s enough demand for something of this scope.” Perrysburg Mayor Mike Olmstead suggested the feasibility study after visiting the Grand Park sports campus near Indianapolis. That 400-acre facility includes more than 31 multipurpose and soccer fields, 26 baseball diamonds, and an indoor soccer and events center. “It’s a great idea,” Gottschalk said. That’s why experts in the field have been brought in to do impartial evaluations, he added. If the study finds that such a sports complex would be feasible in this area, then the next question is where, Gottschalk said. Some suggestions have been made that acreage in between Perrysburg and Bowling Green, somewhere along Ohio 25, would be considered. “But we’re not to that point yet,” Gottschalk said. Some signs point to a large sports complex being successful here, he added. There is ample open land, a large population, and good transportation access. “We’ve got better interstate access,” Gottschalk said. The study will look at the number of people likely to be drawn here for tournaments. “How much can we attract from the outside,” he asked. A local sports complex would benefit area residents by shortening their weekend drives to some tournaments. But the big win would be attracting business to the region from those families. “These tournaments draw thousands,” Gottschalk said. “You’ve got hotels being booked. You’ve got restaurants…


After 50 years, curling club has a place to call home

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   After the bagpipes played and shots of Scotch were gulped down, players of the “quirky” sport of curling dedicated their new home in Wood County on Saturday. “It’s been a dream for a long, long time,” said Ed Glowacki, a long-time member of the Bowling Green Curling Club. “I’m going to ask a lot of people to pinch me today.” The new Black Swamp Curling Center takes the place of the ice sheets at Bowling Green State University Ice Arena, which the curling club had to share with several other skating groups. The new facility, which has four sheets of ice just for curling, opened one year shy of the curling club’s 50th year. “Dreams do come true,” said Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards, who shares a Scottish background with the sport of curling. “You have demonstrated from the very beginning determination and true grit.” Edwards shared a Scottish blessing with the curlers, spoken first in Gaelic form then in English. “Long may your chimney smoke,” he said. The new curling center is located at 19901 N. Dixie Highway, formerly home to Perry House Furniture and an Amish furniture store. “Actually, my dining room table was right here,” Shannon Orr, past president of the curling club, said as she pointed toward the ice. “Now it’s sheet A.” As seems fitting, the initial sketches for a new curling center were scrawled on a bar napkin, well, several bar napkins. A long-held tradition in the gentlemanly sport of curling is that the winners buy the losers a drink. So it was after one of those games that some of the curling club members started scribbling out ideas for a new curling center, said Scott Helle, a former president of the club. They knew it was a tremendous challenge, but they also knew their fellow curlers were a devoted crew. “My dad always told me, you learn who your true friends are when you start a concrete project and a roofing project,” Helle said. They…


BGSU professor Nancy Spencer was on the line at Battle of the Sexes

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Nancy Spencer was offered the chance to be a line judge at the tennis match dubbed the Battle of the Sexes, she at first demurred. Now a professor at Bowling Green State University, she was a 24-year-old at Corpus Christi, Texas, when former men’s tennis champion Bobby Riggs challenged women’s champion Billie Jean King to a match. But a few months earlier Riggs, as much as showman as an athlete, had defeated Margaret Court. Spencer said she was so “devastated” by that outcome “I had told myself I wouldn’t watch the next match.” Technically she wouldn’t be watching the match, the official said, she’d be watching the lines. He sweetened the deal by offering her a couple complementary tickets for friends and a pass that would allow her to tour the Astro Dome, then “the eighth wonder of the world,” where the match was being held. So on Sept. 20, 1973, she was at the center line making calls for a match that made history. She was one of three women officiating the match. In the wake of the release of the major motion picture “Battle of the Sexes,” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, Spencer will give a talk on her experience at the match Monday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in room 111 in Olscamp Hall on the BGSU campus. The match, Spencer said, was big news. Making the four-hour drive from Corpus Christi she stopped to get gas, and the attendant asked her out of the blue who she thought would win the match. Few people followed tennis at the time. The event drew the largest crowd to watch a tennis match, 30,472. The crowd was packed with celebrities including sports figures such as Jim Brown and George Foreman and Hollywood stars such as Lee Major and Farrah Fawcett. To warm up the crowd and the line judges, the main event was preceded by a celebrity mixed doubles event pitting Andy Williams and his wife, Claudine Longet, and Merv Griffin…


Hockey tournament raises funds for Habitat for Humanity

Submitted by HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF WOOD COUNTY In support of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, celebrity hockey players and Wood County-area residents competed in the 2nd annual Hockey for Habitat charity ball hockey tournament on September 30. Taking place at Bowling Green City Park, the event raised thousands of dollars to support Habitat for Humanity’s home building and home repair programs. The event featured several celebrity players including Kyle Rogers (Walleye, retired), and Ryan Wichman of WTOL. “Hockey for Habitat is all about mixing mission with fun, and we’re thrilled to be able to present this event once again,” said Mark Ohashi, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County. “Last year, it was a huge success, so we’re looking forward to raising even more money this year.” The tournament weekend kicked off with a celebrity hockey player “draft night” on September 29. At the event, teams were able to select from former professional hockey players to add to their teams. Draft order was based on fundraising totals, with the highest fundraising team awarded the top draft pick. Ryan Wichman of WTOL helped MC the event as well as serving as a celebrity free agent. Hockey fans had an opportunity to meet and greet with the celebrity hockey players in an intimate setting before the Saturday tournament. The Hockey for Habitat tournament featured a number of children’s games, silent auctions, raffles, and food. Dozens of volunteers helped support the event, including the BGSU Alpha Phi Omega chapter, BGSU Habitat for Humanity Chapter, BG Aktion Club members, and members of the BGSU IT Department staff.


Antrone “Juice” Williams takes a shot at helping kids & raising awareness of stroke dangers

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Five years ago Antrone “Juice” Williams almost died on a basketball court in Maine. He was doing what he loved playing basketball. He was good enough to have played college hoops and semi-pro ball. And then in an instant he was down, just aware enough to know this may be the end. It wasn’t. After he came out of an induced coma, Williams started the long road to recovery. On Sunday Williams (formerly known as Moore) will be back on the court again. He’s not playing for fame or glory, but to help raise awareness about stroke disease and support his efforts to mentor young people. Williams is hosting his second H.O.W. We Hoop! Celebrity Basketball Charitable Game Sunday, Oct. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bowling Green Community Center. The game may be for fun, but Williams said that he expects School Superintendent Francis Scruci is intent on avenging a very serious beating by the team led by Williams. Williams said he “scored a few buckets,” but his concern is people may have been going easy on him. He doesn’t want them to. He’s proud that five years after nearly dying he’s able to “hobble” down the court, again playing the game he loves. Sometimes people don’t understand the lasting toll a stroke can take, he said. He lost more than two million brain cells on the way to the hospital on the day he was stricken. His outward appearance can belie the damage that’s  beneath the surface. Still he persists. “It’s all about how you perceive your strengths,” he said. “I want to be here ‘til the Lord calls me home.” The donations collected at the door will go toward helping his charitable organization Team H.O.W. – Helping Others Win – file the paperwork to secure 503C tax exempt status. The organization supports Williams’ youth mentorship through basketball efforts. He’s particularly concerned, he said, about helping the children of single mothers. “When I came back in this world I had…