An idea takes flight in the John Manlove Marketing & Communications(JMMC) conference room. John Manlove, CEO JMMC; Leah Manlove Howard, VP JMMC; Johnny Smecca, Galveston Restaurant Group; Jeff Sjostrom, Executive Director Galveston Economic Development Partnership; Gina Manlove, President JMMC; Dr. Gabor Farkas and former MLB player Chuck McElroy discuss how to bring Major League professional athletes to the area for high quality youth camps.
Chuck McElroy noticed a need for high-end training camps for our youth. “I have real life experience as a former professional Major League Baseball player about the importance of learning the basic skills of the game. Scouts look for and notice these basics as valuable talents for success – these are the things we need to teach our kids to do well. America is losing its place as the number 1 producer of professional ball players to other countries because we are no longer focusing on and giving our youth the best training,” said McElroy
McElroy is working with Dr. Gabor Farkas to develop a program that meets these needs. “We have lots of talented children who are not getting the proper training and direction to excel and avoid injuries” Gabor indicated “with Chuck’s connections to professional athletes around the country this could really be the start of a fantastic youth program.”
This is part of the overall concept of developing sports tourism in the Galveston Area, which is an ideal location for these activities. Galveston alone has so many tourism activities, such as the Beach, Historic Tours, Moody Gardens, The Pleasure Pier, Dolphin Tours, Schlitterbahn, Seawolf Park, Restaurants, Fishing, Surfing and abundant Hotel accommodations – this makes our area one of the premier venues in the country for attracting these types of sports activities.
Johnny Smecca and Jeff Sjostrom have been promoting the sports tourism concept for several years now and are working to address the facilities to handle large baseball and softball tournaments. “Without question our area is a prime location for sports tourism and would supplement our existing tourism industry,” said Johnny Smecca “we just need to put the pieces together.”
John Manlove thought it would be a great idea to have these two groups meet and organized this initial meeting to move the concept forward.