September 29, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Alex Belote to Represent Springfield in Singapore

Springfield, Missouri’s Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) has selected a Springfield youth representative to participate in the inaugural Singapore 2010 Friendship Camp. A delegation representing Springfield’s CODP program will also travel to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. this week to attend the annual CODP Conference and seminars.

photo:alex belote,youth, with tennis raquet

Alex Belote, 16, will travel to Singapore in early December 2009 to participate in the Friendship Camp, as part of the world’s first Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. He is one of only two Americans to be offered the opportunity. The other athlete is a female fencer from San Antonio’s CODP. The Friendship Camp is a special part of the Youth Olympic Games with the goal of promoting Olympic values among participants and providing them with a unique experience and the opportunity to form life-long friendships.

Belote has been involved in Springfield’s CODP tennis program since 2004. He has moved into the top Academy level and is one of the top youth tennis players in Springfield. A junior at Springfield’s Central High School, Belote represented Central in doubles play at state-level competition his freshman year. This was the first time a player from Central was represented at the Missouri State High School Tennis Championships. He has a 10-2 singles record for 2009. His team finished its highest level in the school’s history at State this year.

Belote plays in approximately 12 – 16 United States Tennis Association tournaments per year and has participated in the USTA’s Competitive Training Center Program for three years. He is in Central’s International Baccalaureate program, maintains a 4.9 grade average (honors classes) and is Sports Editor for his high school newspaper. Belote has worked at Cooper Tennis Complex stringing racquets, teaching young kids the game of tennis and running the scoreboard during Springfield Lasers games.

Participants of the five-day Camp will take part in cultural and education programs, including sports development, interaction with Olympians, island activities, community projects, learning journeys and a youth music concert. The camp is organized by Singapore’s Ministry of Education in partnership with the Singapore Sports School and the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee, and travel expenses for both athletes are paid for by the United States Olympic Committee.

The USOC is also funding a trip for a group of Springfield CODP coaches and youth athletes, who will travel to Colorado Springs this week for the 2009 CODP Conference. Participants will take part in round-table discussions and seminars. The trip also allows for the delegation to interact with other coaches and some of the best aspiring athletes training at the USOC Olympic Center.

The following youth players were selected to participate in the conference because of their involvement with the Development Program:

For more information, media contact: Linda Dollar, CODP Program Manager, (417) 874-2174; Bob Nelson, Public Information Administrator, (417) 874-2176.