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Liberty University Brings Virginia Commonwealth Games Spirit to Campus »Liberty News

The teams play in the Liberty Arena on Saturday. (Photo by KJ Jugar)

The spirit of competition and sportsmanship is alive and well on Liberty Mountain for the Virginia Commonwealth Games at Liberty University. Liberty welcomed thousands of amateur athletes to campus to compete in a variety of sports at Liberty’s state-of-the-art athletics facility during Major Games weekend, which kicked off Friday. This is the seventh consecutive year that Liberty University has served as title sponsor and host.

“Liberty University is proud to continue its partnership with Virginia Amateur Sports as we host the 2022 Virginia Commonwealth Games here on campus (and) these talented athletes show their skills and determination in competition,” said the president. of Liberty, Jerry Prevo.

Hosted by Virginia Amateur Sports (VAS), the Games promote health, fitness and character building through Olympic-style competition, allowing athletes of all ages to make new friendships, set goals and personal bests and demonstrate teamwork and sportsmanship in an atmosphere of friendly competition.

More than 100 basketball teams – playing more than 400 games on more than a dozen courts between the LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center, Liberty Arena and nearby Liberty Christian Academy – represent the largest number of athletes. Other sports on campus this weekend include baseball, beach volleyball, softball, tennis, track and field and ultimate. Last weekend, the Games kicked off with adult softball and All-Star baseball, pickleball and racquetball, and skiing and snowboarding at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center.

“Liberty University’s athletics facilities are among the best in the country, if not the world,” VAS President Dan Foutz said at a July 14 pre-Games press conference. “They are just fantastic.”

Liberty Athletic director Ian McCaw agreed, inviting amateur athletes to use venues on campus.

“We are blessed with a beautiful campus and incredible athletics facilities, so to be able to offer those to the 2022 Commonwealth Games competitors and their families and guests and everyone who will be part of the weekend main games, we are certainly thrilled and very honored to do so,” he said during the press conference. “The Games wouldn’t happen without great teamwork and a huge number of volunteers giving their time. The City of Lynchburg is doing a lot to make this event a success, and Dan and his team at Virginia Amateur Sports are absolutely first class operators of the Games.

Opening ceremonies took place Friday evening at the Liberty Indoor Football Practice Facility, followed by a tailgate party that extended to the outdoor training ground with games and food available for the players. participants and their families. The theme was “Women in Sports” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the implementation of Title IX, which helped increase women’s participation in high school sports alone from less than 300,000 in 1971 to nearly 4 million today. Along with McCaw and Lynchburg Mayor Mary Jane Dolan, Friday night’s festivities included inspirational video messages from three Olympic medalists, including former University of Virginia basketball player and current South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, and the lighting of the cauldron by the young female Commonwealth Games athlete. of the Year and National State Games Congress Athlete of the Year Olivia Goodwin, a 12-year-old swimmer who battled heart disease to compete in the Games.

Some of the thousands of amateur athletes and their families attend the opening ceremonies. (Photo by KJ Jugar)
A young basketball player and members of his family enjoy the opening night of Friday’s opening ceremonies at the Liberty Indoor Football Training Facility. (Photo by Chase Gyles)
Some of the more than 100 participants from the Central Virginia Elite athletics program based in Lynchburg, Va., march in the parade of athletes during the opening ceremonies. (Photo by Chase Gyles)
A Tigers batter fouls on a Bedford Boys pitch at Liberty Baseball Stadium. (Photo by KJ Jugar)
Newly crowned Miss Virginia Victoria Chuah helps Commonwealth Games Female Athlete of the Year Olivia Goodwin light the Olympic cauldron during Friday night’s Opening Ceremonies at the Liberty Indoor Soccer Training Center . (Photo by Chase Gyles)
Pickleball at LaHaye Fitness & Recreation Center on July 15 (Photo by KJ Jugar)