MIDDLETOWN - The Nutmeg State Games may have put one weekend of sports in the books, but there is still a long way to go before the end of this year’s events.
With another two weeks left, Nutmeg Games Executive Director Patrick Fisher would like nothing more than to have everything go as smoothly as the early portion of the games has so far. And that means playable weather.
“I think everything works more smoothly when the weather is nicer,” Fisher said. “We had a really great day [last] Saturday. And even though it rained a bit Sunday, we were pretty much through everything by then.”
One aspect that made Fisher especially pleased with the first weekend of the games was the turnout. There were close to 600 athletes at the track and field meet, according to Fisher, although he believed there could have been more.
“One of the few challenges that we face every year is there is so much activity for kids now,” Fisher said. “There are so many different events. We are always up against something. For example, with our track and field meet, we probably would have had upwards of 700 or 800 kids, but USA Track and Field had a regional qualifier in New York on the same day.”
He also praised the workers at all of the local sites who had a hand in setting up their respective events.
“We use a lot of sports management interns to help conduct our games,” Fisher said. “They kind of become our operations staff. You’ll see them working the score clocks or tables at a lot of the events. Their hearts are in the right place and they want to put on a successful event.”
And there will be plenty of events. Beginning Thursday, there will be some type of event held every day until the games conclude on August 5.
“We basically had a three-day reprieve to prepare ourselves,” Fisher said. “We have to start preparing for all of the events happening this week. But we are also scheduling things beginning on July 30, like the Little League divisions that we have and basketball.”
This upcoming weekend features the girls soccer, judo, softball, field hockey, fencing and roller hockey tournaments. For Fisher, his expectation remains the same, regardless of which sports are going on.
“It’s really about putting on a successful event for our participants,” Fisher said. “We spend a tremendous amount of time putting a lot of organization, thought and energy into this. We have an outstanding staff.”
As always, Fisher’s main concern going forward is the weather, especially with baseball and softball. Although the Nutmeg Games have gotten good weather for its early events, rain is in the forecast all through next week, based on The Weather Channel’s forecast.
“We start our baseball tournament on [July] 23,” Fisher said. “What we try to do is start on a Monday and try to end the tournament on a Saturday. We’ll use Sunday as a day, if we lose some games throughout the week, we can rearrange the schedule and conclude the tournament Sunday.”
Even with some uncertainty going forward this year, Fisher is proud of the impact the Nutmeg Games have on the state’s athletes, year after year.
“I’m really happy with the numbers we have gotten so far,” Fisher said. “The Nutmeg Games has really become a summer tradition. People mark it on their calendars months in advance.”
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org