October 01, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Park Board Hosts CODP Conference This Week

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board hosts the United States Olympic Committee’s 2012 Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) Directors Conference October 3-5, at Springfield’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

The CODP provides young athletes access to some of the best training, facilities, programs, and coaches, enhancing athletes’ ability to compete in Olympic and Paralympic sports. Since its formation in 1996, the CODP has introduced more than 500,000 youth athletes to Olympic and Paralympic sports across the country.

The annual conference brings together leaders from 19 CODP programs in nine cities across the country. Springfield-Greene County Park Board is home to four of these programs: archery, hockey, tennis and volleyball.

This is the first time the US Olympic Committee has ever held the annual conference outside of CODP headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO.

“It’s a tremendous honor for us,” said Bob Belote, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. “It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase our exceptional CODP programs, coaches and facilities, as well as show how our community embraces its parks.”

The three-day conference includes meetings and facilities tours all around Springfield and Greene County. Media availabilities during the conference include:

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board established its CODP program in 2003 and has since impacted more than 20,000 youth in the region. Athletes involved in CODP programs receive holistic mental and physical training in their sport, both in the competitive arena and off the field. Many have gone on to compete at the collegiate, state and national levels.

“One of the reasons the conference came here is we were the first CODP to work with a municipal parks department,” said Linda Dollar, director of the Greater Springfield CODP. “It’s been a great partnership; we’ve grown and we can help other cities understand how this partnership can work. I believe we’re a good working model for other cities.”

The conference is sponsored by the United States Olympic Committee, the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, Springfield Sports Commission, Noble Communications, The Food Channel, USTA Missouri Valley, Russ and Pam RuBert, Mother’s Brewery and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

For more information, visit teamusa.org or parkboard.org/codp. Or call Linda Dollar, director, Greater Springfield CODP, 417-874-2174; or Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.