Sports Council President’s Message October 2019 – Big Things Happening

Liz Saunders
Sports Council President

Exactly a year ago the Board of Directors made a commitment to take the Sports Council to the next level. To give us the required focus and direction needed, we held a Board Retreat which was overseen by a professional advisor. The outcome of this is that we have re-written the bylaws, created base committees such as; Governance, Finance, Communication & Strategic Planning to help us function professionally and efficiently. This re-organization allowed the Board to create important goals & objectives to move the Sports Council forward.

We are now well on the way to building a Board that represents our community. We are currently represented by hoteliers, law enforcement, legal advisor, Collier School’s athletic supervisor, and local business owners. We are still eager to increase our Board size and have committee support, anyone interested in being involved is welcome to get in touch. Our Board is committed to becoming an integral part of the community by working with & supporting other organizations in the community that align with our mission:

The Mission

The Mission of the Sports Council of Collier County is to grow a network of public and private partnerships that helps provide resources, accessibility and opportunities that encourages individuals and organizations to participate in sports in the community.

To support this mission, the Board decided to create a 501-C3 subdivision; Collier Sports Foundation. This foundation will operate separately from the Sports Council and is an exciting opportunity to allow us to do everything from fundraising events to apply for grants to help us fulfill our Mission. We have sought advice and recommendations from Community Foundation, that has been highly encouraging. This non-profit arm of the Sports Council will change our game and allow us to support all sorts of sports in the Community.

Subsequently, I was asked by the Community Foundation to serve on a Focus Committee representing sports, recreation & environmental Professionals. This brought together a great opportunity to align with other major organizations from the Zoo, Star-Ability, Parks & Rec, Pathways Coalition, Sports Club, National Park Service, City Community Services and many more.

We have published multiple articles on the Sports Council, the current status and future of sports in Collier County. These publications included; NT&T’s Experiences Magazine, Coastal Breeze Newspaper, CVB Sports Experiences and ENcompass Magazine’s upcoming January issue. This public relations platform, as well as, working well with other area organizations, will allow us to inform the community about SCCC and our vision:

The Vision of the Sports Council of Collier County, is to be recognized as a world class Sports Council that helps to facilitate sports tourism on behalf of the community of Collier County.

With our vision in mind we are currently forming the building blocks to grow a Junior Sports Council. This group will be comprised of high school students that will support community sports events. Their involvement will not only enhance our events but their college resumes, also earn them mandatory volunteer hours for the college Bright Futures grants and gain experience in organizing meetings & events, all while having fun and acquiring leadership skills.

The Sports Council Board is excited about the future by building this strong foundation to support both the Vision & Mission. This foundation will be built upon our membership, community relationships, our new Sports Foundation and the Junior Sports Council.

To accommodate our goals and to improve our functionality we are also adopting new communication tools. By the first of the year, the goal is to use Constant Contact and have Google Docs files available to members, as we embark on a new era of Sports in 2020 with the initial fields opening at the Paradise Coast Sportsplex, right in our own back yard!

What Board Member Lori Lou Waddell Loves This Week

In September 2017, the Collier County Board of Commissioners approved an increase in the Tourist Development tax to assist in the development and financing of a new amateur sports complex in the eastern part of our County. This new sports complex has been named the Paradise Coast Sportsplex and the first phase will be open for competition in June 2020, less than a year away!

The Paradise Coast Sportsplex is a large-scale project and will be a preeminent compliment to already existing sports facilities in our area. It will offer a variety of competitive events, national championships, family activities and local team play that will benefit our citizens, area businesses and the many competitive athletes and their families that will visit and compete in the new facility.

As a community and a destination, we scored big with the new Paradise Coast Sportsplex, proving that creativity, collaboration and planned growth can tip the scales in the right direction for healthy lifestyles, plentiful activities and positive economic growth.

-Lori Lou Waddell, visitor information specialist

Collier County Sports Council Board Member

Pickleball Park Improvements for East Naples Community Park

Dear Pickleball Friends,

Exciting news! Today Collier County Commissioners unanimously accepted the master plan for East Naples Community Park!

We would like to thank all of those who came out to support us and to all of those who couldn’t be in attendance but still support us.

We will immediately be planning to add 10 new pickleball courts and upgrade the electrical power needs for future building in the park.
Some things you can look forward to as we move ahead:

  • Welcome Center
  • New Bathrooms
  • New Pro Shop
    Locker Rooms
  • Restaurant
  • New Maintenance Building
  • And More!

We are excited to start the design process within the next week.
Again, thank you al for your support! Exciting days ahead and good things to come at East Naples Community Park!
Jim, Carol, Terry, Chris and Staff


Help Immokalee students travel to Charlotte, NC for Spring Break

My name is Scott Rickard I am a Science teacher and the Head Coach of the boy’s lacrosse team at Immokalee High School. Every year we take our team on a Spring Break trip and this year we will be traveling to Charlotte, NC making stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to play lacrosse games. While in Charlotte we will volunteer at a food pantry, play more lacrosse games, participate in team building activities and visit colleges located in NC.

As you know the Immokalee community is a low-income community and this is an opportunity that the Immokalee student -athletes might not otherwise get a chance to experience. Any support you could provide in helping us achieve our goal would be greatly appreciated! All donations are currently being doubled by DICK’s Sporting goods. I have attached the link to our project below:

Thank you in advance,

Scott Rickard

Head Lacrosse Coach

Immokalee High School

Cell (239) 289-5148

Immokalee Lacrosse Website<>

Naples Golden Eagles Baseball Golf Classic

Hammock Bay Welcomes the 2019 Naples Golden Eagles Baseball Golf Classic

Saturday, June 29, 2019 8:30AM
Hammock Bay Golf & Country Club
1370 Borghese Ln, Naples, FL 34114

$100 per player Scramble Format
Includes Lunch

*All proceeds to benefit the Naples High School Baseball Team*

Thank you!

Go Eagles!!

**Please email all foursomes with Player Names to
Coach Jimmy Nocera at

Travel Matters to Jobs.

Travel’s Role in Achieving the American Dream

For millions of Americans, a career in the travel industry is not just a first job, but the first step toward the American dream of a stable, prosperous and rewarding life with a competitive salary for employees and their families. Travel jobs are accessible, often providing the first foothold on the career ladder, the flexibility to pursue education or raise a family and opportunities to reenter the workforce.

Made in America: Travel’s Contribution to Workforce Development and Career Advancement explores how travel industry jobs provide opportunities and a path to prosperity for millions of Americans.

Travel jobs are a gateway to capturing the American dream.

The travel industry provides Americans a foothold toward financial success. For millions of Americans, employment in the travel industry is not just a first job; it leads to a future of financial security and economic prosperity.

  • Americans whose first job was in travel went on to earn a maximum average salary of $82,400 by the time they were 50 years old—higher than workers whose first jobs were in manufacturing, health care and most other industries.1
  • Not only that, the travel industry is one of the top 10 largest employers of middle-class wage earners* in the U.S.

Travel jobs provide and cultivate essential skills for a successful career

First jobs provide Americans with essential skills, confidence and experience that lead to rewarding careers. Employment in the travel industry develops practical skills such as communication, customer service and problem solving through on-the-job training.
  • Nearly four in 10 (38%) Americans’ first job was in travel and tourism. This fact spans across gender, race and ethnicity.

Experience in travel fosters entrepreneurship and grows small business

Entrepreneurship is a key driver of prosperity and competitiveness in the U.S.

  •  The skills gained through travel industry employment inspire entrepreneurship, particularly for women. Of women who started their career in the travel industry, 14% now consider themselves an entrepreneur; the same percentage are business owners.4