President speaks at dedication of multi-sport facility
The new sports court was inaugurated at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 during Alumni & Family Weekend by President Jonathan Sanford, who spoke on the importance of physical activity to the formation of moral virtue. Father James Martin Nobles, OP, blessed the sports court prior to the president’s speech.
Luke Posegate, president of student government, and Emily Elfelt, recreational sports Campus Activities Board intern, unveiled the signage with the names of the donors who made this recreational space possible.
“It’s something that was philanthropically supported. We had some donors that very generously gave to support the project,” said Ben Gibbs, assistant vice president for operations.
The donors commemorated on the signage are Kathy and Barry Clark, Wendy and Mike Magusiak, Elizabeth and Richard A. Husseini, Lisa and Randall F. Muck, and Annmarie Flynn Kelly and Dr. Robert W. Kelly.
After the inauguration, the class of 1988 alumni team played a friendly game of basketball against the faculty team, captained by Sanford.
The pool that was originally where the sports court stands was filled in back in 2022 due to the cost of upkeep.
“Due to the age of the pool, damaging freezes, and the high cost of supplies, service and repairs, maintaining the pool had become too costly,” said Jarred Samples, director of athletics.
“The pool was in need of a huge amount of repairs,” said Dr. Gregory Roper, dean of students. “I’m talking several multiples of five figures.”
David Hoffmann, men’s soccer coach, is given credit for much of the idea of what to do with the space left by the pool.
“I think Coach Hoffmann might have been the first one to recommend it,” said Gibbs. “I more or less dusted off an old idea,” said Hoffmann. “I think it has the opportunity to support more than just men’s and women’s soccer. I think this could be a multipurpose facility that services a lot of the student population.”
Roper credits the success of the implementation of Hoffmann’s idea on the Irving campus to Ryan Reedy and Gibbs, who was working in the Office of Student Affairs in Rome when the sports court on the Due Santi campus was built.
The sports court will be used by student athletes to supplement their training.
“Both our soccer teams could use it when the fields are too wet for practice. It would give them the opportunity to get in some valuable skill work by playing futsal where in the past they would have to cancel practice all together,” said Samples. “The outdoor workout area also provides a space for our athletic trainers to conduct rehab for student athletes who are trying to return from injury.”
However, the sports court can also be used for recreational sports.
“My guys are already talking about setting up futsal leagues, setting up futsal tournaments for the students because they want to play,” said Hoffmann.
This space can be used for any sport one can think of, including, but not limited to, pickleball and dodgeball. With the temperature slowly dropping to tolerable levels, the administration behind this addition to the UD campus hopes to see students taking advantage of this new opportunity.