I’m not sure words will do the year 2015 justice. Working in sports may have just hit an all-time high for me. Looking back at what the KC Sports Commission has accomplished and been involved with makes me so proud, and slightly tired. The year 2015 is almost book deserving, and I might have to call on my friends Matt Fulks or Blair Kerkhoff to use their elegant words to capture the memorable year. Friends and family at times have encouraged me to write a book about the experiences of working in sports. 2015 may have been my tipping point to consider.
This year, the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation has ignited thousands of young lives with the power of participating in sports through Camp WIN and our Youth Clinic Series powered by KCP&L. Thousands more have run and competed in one of our endurance events such as the WIN for KC Triathlon and the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds. Many of you engaged with us at our award ceremonies this year. At the WIN for KC Women’s Sports Awards Celebration we shared what impact sports played in our lives because we are athletes, and keynote speaker Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer shared “I am alive, because I am an athlete”. At our spring Sports Commission Awards Banquet with Rob Riggle we celebrated many champions. Remember Riggle asking, “what have we been celebrating the last few decades?” Guessing he might say something different this year?
And literally hundreds of thousands celebrated with us on November 3 at the Royal Celebration Parade and Rally downtown. Even though a parade isn’t exactly a sports event, it felt like a marathon! I was so proud of our team and our work with O’Neill Marketing and Event Management to make that memory happen for our city.
Thanks to some long hours and great discussions, our Board of Directors has helped to craft a revised mission and vision statement which reflect our organizational focus.
I’m excited to share our updated statements:
Our mission is to drive Kansas City’s overall sports strategy to enrich the quality of life, create economic impact and raise visibility for our region.
Our vision is to make a better Kansas City through sports.
Our tactical approach will include creating and nurturing economic impact by developing a short-term and long-term events strategy incorporating and prioritizing local, national and possibly international events. We will continue our focus of community engagement by developing sports programming that allows people to participate, spectate and support. We will focus on organizational alignment ensuring that our structure will successfully drive and support our mission and our board is determined to help us create a sustainable funding model that supports our long-term goals.
So when I ask “now what,” I pause briefly to reflect back on all the great sports highlights from 2015, but anxiously look towards 2016 and dream about our future as an organization, as a passionate sports city and as a wife and mom, making a better Kansas City for my family.
Teamwork makes the dream work. Cheers to my team at the KC Sports Commission and cheers to you. Thanks for supporting our dream of making Kansas City better through sports.
Kathy Nelson, President & CEO