April 13, 2008
On Saturday, April 12, 2008 the official groundbreaking for the Smith River Sports Complex took place with approximately 70 people in attendance. The Harvest Foundation is handling the cost of construction for the complex, which is only one of many local efforts to bring additional tourism and economic resources to Martinsville and Henry County. “This will truly be a first-class facility…the first of its kind,” said Robert Davis, Harvest Foundation Board President.
Such an innovative asset to the Martinsville-Henry County community, as well as to our entire region, required more than just your average groundbreaking festivities. Staff members from the Southern Virginia Recreation Facilities Authority, the organization that will operate the complex, creatively came up with the idea to invite area soccer players to participate in a ceremonial “first-kick” to show that construction is officially underway. The children enthusiastically shot over a dozen soccer balls into two small goals as their parents smiled, local officials applauded, and photographers captured every kick they took.
“This is all about the kids,” Executive Director of the Authority, Dennis Toney said as he watched with the other onlookers. These kids will have the luxury of growing up with this new sports complex right here in their own neighborhood; and while soccer remains largely popular to our area’s children, the complex will also offer the chance for them to learn about other sports, such as field hockey and lacrosse.
In addition to being able to amend the new facilities for additional sporting events, the completed complex will be equipped with playgrounds, picnic shelters, a pavilion with a concession stand, and canoe access to the Smith River. There will also be office and meeting space available that local businesses and organizations will be able to take advantage of. The Smith River Sports Complex will truly be a facility that our entire community will have the opportunity to enjoy in the years to come.
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