There is a lot of research that tells us that obesity is a growing health problem among children.  Don Tringali, a retired lawyer and business executive, is doing something to combat childhood obesity by giving thousands of kids in Tucson opportunities to get involved in sports.

As Founder and Executive Director of Southern Arizona Community Sports, Inc. (SACS, Inc.), Tringali saw the need for an affordable indoor facility in Tucson where kids can play basketball and volleyball year around. The mission of SACS is “to provide safe, accessible, affordable indoor space for youth sports programs and other activities that promote health and fitness among youth.”

In a model public-private partnership with Pima County, with additional support from private donors, the SACS broke ground on October 19th for the construction of a new youth multi-purpose sports facility at La Cholla and River Road, adjacent to the new baseball fields at Pima County’s Curtis Park.

The new state-of-the art gymnasium will be open to all youth and adults in Southern Arizona and used for basketball and volleyball leagues as well as camps and tournaments. The structure will open in July of 2013, and will be open for use on August 1st.

Notable figures in the Tucson community such as Lute Olson have supported this vision saying, “The Tucson community has needed this vision to become a reality for as long as I can remember. Tucson children have missed out on so many opportunities due to a lack of quality facilities; the benefits of this project are almost too numerous to list.” 

The non-profit Southern Arizona Community Sports Inc. will staff and manage the complex.

The Board of Supervisors approved the 10-year operating agreement in August. Honorary board members include Lute Olson, Steve Kerr, Miles Simon and Dave Sitton.  

“Not only will the Center be an important resource for our youth, it will be a landmark that we will all be proud of,” said Don Tringali. “We look forward to more businesses and  individuals becoming part of the team to help the Center reach its full potential.”

The building will be nearly 40,000 square feet of space, which includes five basketball courts, eight volleyball courts and additional room for other activities that promote health and wellness for youth. When the facility opens in the summer of 2013, courts will be made available at a low cost with priority given to youth sports leagues and tournaments for schools and other community organizations that need indoor space for wellness activities.

To learn more about this incredible project, you may visit their website at http://www.soazcommunitysports.org/.

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