March 8, 2018
President Clovis Community College
417 Schepps Blvd
Clovis, NM 88101
President New Mexico Racquetball Association
PO Box 36179
Albuquerque, NM 87176
Please see the enclosed 2018 New Mexico Racquetball calendar. We have been operating racquetball (and other court disciplines) events since 1977. The recently completed NM State Singles/Junior Championships was the 45th edition. The St. Pat’s Festival has been held annually in Clovis since 1989. Founded by John O’Connor, it’s legacy has continued through the capable hands of Professor and Director Mark Bussen. Dates for 2018 were set for next week (March 16-18).
Recently, we were notified that the event has been canceled, much to the disappointment of our constituency. This includes students and staff members, business leaders, and players at large. Some notable anecdotes:
…It is the 3rd longest running racquetball event under New Mexico Racquetball. …Yearly profits are earmarked for CCC Scholarships. …Players have entered from throughout New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, & Mexico. …Top professionals and members of the Racquetball Hall of Fame have played in this event. …Certified instructors from the department have turned novice students into highly skilled players. …The tournament has penetrated three generations of players.
The mission statement for NMRA is, “To provide educational and recreational opportunities to the broadest cross-section of the public.” St. Pat’s has been an impetus for growth of the game in communities such as Artesia, Cannon AFB, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Portales, and Roswell. Ages ranged from under 10 to over 80 years. Men and women came for enjoyment, camaraderie, athletic prowess, friendships, and Southeast NM hospitality.
There will be a void on our calendar! The six courts at CCC represent the largest indoor court facility in New Mexico (along with Midtown in Albuquerque). We must re-gain the energy that St. Pat’s provided over the years. Removing this event from the equation could have a trickle-down effect on other areas at the college; including the activity and challenge classes, formal and informal recreation, and special events. Strong resources and infrastructure exist. Strong leadership from the community also exists. With the assistance of New Mexico Racquetball, its Board of Directors, and key volunteers, we can and should keep many engaged with energy filling the courts. This is crucial for sustaining and growing this lifetime game.
cc. Mark Bussen