State Games unveils sponsors for 2002
By By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
March 23, 2002
The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi snagged the top sponsorship for the 11th Annual State Games of Mississippi, set to take place this June in Meridian.
The sponsorship was announced Friday at a news conference at Meridian Community College. The Partnership was named the games' first ever "Presenting Sponsor."
Vivien Carver, executive director of the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, said the organization will use its sponsorship to promote its anti-tobacco agenda.
The partnership will focus on the dangers of chewing tobacco, Carver said, because it is the most commonly used form of tobacco among athletes and coaches.
Sabrina Wilson, project director for the Partnership for a Healthy Lauderdale County, said she is looking forward to promoting State Games as a healthy alternative for area youth.
This year's State Games will be June 14-16 and June 20-23. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. June 14 at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium. Attorney General Mike Moore will start the games.
Chris Taft, sports director of the games, said this year will feature 28 events including the additions of table tennis and tae kwon do competition. Water skiing, which hadn't been held for two years, also will return to the games.
Gymnastics will not be an event at State Games this year, but Taft said he hopes to see it brought back for the 2003 games. He said participation has been down in gymnastics for a few years.
Other sponsors acknowledged at the press conference included the State Games' founding "Gold" sponsors: the Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and Rush Foundation Hospital. Other "Gold" sponsors are Conoco Super Stop, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and McAlister's Gourmet Deli.
All sporting events are open to amateur athletes who will compete in various age categories. All competitors must be residents of Mississippi.
For more information or entry forms for State Games of Mississippi 2002, call toll free (800) 482-0205 or visit the State Games Web site at www.stategamesofms.org. E-mail requests may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.