MIDDLETOWN - They’re responsible for the Nutmeg State Games and the Connecticut Masters’ Games, and in 2018 they’ll be celebrating their 30th anniversary of the games.
Connecticut Sports Management Group is a 501(c)3 nonprofit located at 975 Middle St., Middletown and aims to contribute to the physical, mental and emotional growth of its athletes, through the competition of its games.
It hosts the two sporting events, the largest multi-event sporting events in Connecticut: the Nutmeg State Games hosting over 7,500 athletes from ages 6 to 18 in over 20 sports, and the Connecticut Masters Games hosting athletes over 50 in more than 10 sports. It also hosts several other sporting events.
“They’re based on the Olympic model,” said Executive Director Patrick Fisher, who started as an intern for the organization in 2000 and accepted a full-time position the following year. “We try reinforcing the competitive spirit and sportsmanship among athletes.”
“Participation in athletics provides opportunities to develop the qualities of leadership, hard work, self confidence and mental and physical toughness,” the company’s mission statement reads. “Competitive athletics lays the foundation for positive lifelong habits that contribute to a healthy life style and teaches team work, sportsmanship and respect for others.”
CSMG always tries to position its events with a national governing organization, such as track and field events with USA Track & Field, so that athletes can use the results of the events toward state competitions, Fisher said. The CSMG also hosts a high school football weightlifting competition, Northeast football showcase, coaching clinic, a four-ball golf tournament and more.
“We organize the whole thing from soup to nuts,” said Fisher on how CSMG takes care of all the logistics necessary for running a successful sporting event. He added that the use of New Britain, centrally located in the state, to host the Nutmeg Games has proved beneficial.
As a way to support all this, the organization hosts fundraisers, including an annual banquet which features a night of guest speakers, a formal dinner and awards given out to the top athletes of the year. There’s also an annual Golf Scramble in which teams of four can enter and enjoy a lunch, dinner club amenities and awards, as well as a $10,000 raffle for which people can purchase tickets and have a chance to win six prizes, including a top prize of $10,000.
As a way to keep with the times, Fisher said CSMG - which is the only sports management group of its kind - is always looking to expanding its sports offerings. Recently it organized the increasingly popular pickleball tournament, a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis, in Hartford.
All this is done with three full-time employees and one part-time employee, and the help of over 25 interns through the year.
“We’re going to continue our mission and to make people more aware fo the games,” said Fisher.
To become a sponsor or contribute to the CSMG, contact it at 860-788-7041 or nutmegstategames.org.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @CPaullinNBH.