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Groundbreaking Event a Success

Rebecca A Eckland
Wizard the Lizard models the new soccer jerseys

Wizard the Lizard proudly displays a prototype of the soccer uniforms unveiled at the event.

TMCC Breaks Ground on New Sports and Health Complex

At 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, TMCC made history with the ceremonial groundbreaking of a new Sports and Health Complex and Soccer Field. With it, TMCC will join other community colleges nationwide that provide opportunities for students to participate in intercollegiate athletics. The new complex, which will feature a fitness center, lockers, a multi-purpose basketball court will accompany a new standard size soccer field and a walking/running path will encourage the classical notion of mens sana in corpore sano (healthy mind healthy body), an integral part of the higher education experience.

The event was well-attended with over 100 guests, including those from the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), TMCC leadership, City of Reno, local news media as well as several members of TMCC’s community of students, faculty and staff made the journey to our campus on a crisp, cool November morning to celebrate a new chapter in TMCC's future.

Fostering An Athletic Culture

The Athletics Sports and Health Complex, which began as a student-conceived and student-driven initiative, will provide facilities and staff for student-athletes in pursuit of a collegiate athletic career, but will also provide support for the overall health and wellness of our campus community. “Through the new fitness center and soccer field, our Sports and Health Complex will meet the fitness needs of a much larger number of students than our current facilities can accommodate,” said TMCC President Karin Hilgersom.

The new Athletics Sports and Health Complex will offer several new amenities for use for TMCC students, faculty and staff. The soccer field will be located across Raggio Parkway, a short distance from the new Health Center. In addition to the field, it will also have a 3-lane walking track for walkers and runners.

Tina Ruff, TMCC Athletic Director, offered her vision to the gathered crowd that the soccer field and Sports and Health Complex is only the beginning of TMCC’s athletic journey. “Our vision is to be the pride of TMCC and northern Nevada communities. Bringing men’s and women’s soccer to the College is a real opportunity for the many young soccer players in northern Nevada who may not otherwise consider higher education as an opportunity to develop themselves academically and athletically.” Ruff also offered guests a preview of the new uniforms for soccer players that celebrate TMCC's black and green Mighty Lizard pride. 

Ruff also emphasized the importance of ongoing support from students, staff and the community. The recently formed TMCC Athletics Advisory Committee and the Mighty Lizard Club, entities intended to promote and support the athletic program as it continues to develop, will provide opportunities for individuals to support our new student-athletes. Donations will enable the purchase of additional equipment and uniforms and travel costs. 

Looking to the Future

Guests gathered beneath a white tent and were offered refreshments before the ceremony began. The Emcee, Dr. Marie Murgolo, introduced the other speakers, who included TMCC President Karin Kilgersom, Regent Jason Geddes, Athletic Director Tina Ruff, former SGA President David Turner II and current SGA President Ahtziry Vasquez. The speakers, who were joined by NSHE Regents, Facilities Executive Director Dave Roberts, Vice President of Finance and Administration Jim New, Vice President of Student Services and Diversity Estela Gutierrez, Associate Vice President of Institutional Research, Marketing and Web Services Elena Bubnova, Eric Edelstein and Richard Jay of the 1868 and GBYSL and TMCC’s own Wizard the Lizard, took up the golden shovels for the ceremonial groundbreaking.

The Facilities Team ferried guests via golf cart to the site of TMCC’s future soccer field and walking/running path where guests could see firsthand where sports and higher education will collide. “TMCC made me a better person,” said former SGA President David Turner II, “but, I wasn’t on that journey alone. Students, faculty, administration, and classified staff members were right there with me. All of us working towards bettering who we were one day at a time."

So too will future TMCC students overcome challenges and work toward goals through perseverance, discipline and hard work either by joining a sanctioned team or through participating in campus health and wellness programs. And, let’s not forget the other element of organized sports and fitness that’s promised through these new facilities: the opportunity to have a lot of fun.