CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County is investing in its future as a serious sports activities tourism vacation spot with a brand new boss answerable for its sports activities venues and recreation. The county employed J.C. Poma as its first government director of sports activities, visitation and leisure.
Poma presently serves because the vice chairman of group relations for Richmond Area Tourism, the place he has labored for seven years. He’s additionally on the advisory board for the US Sports activities Congress and on the board of administrators for the Sportable Paralympic Sports activities Membership.
He’ll start his new place with Chesterfield on Could 1.
Poma was born in Atlanta however has lived in Central Virginia for many of his life. He grew up taking part in soccer and baseball, and continues to like working, biking and taking part in softball.
“I acquired to do sports activities rising up, and now I get to do that for a residing,” he mentioned.
He first acquired to see what the Chesterfield area needed to supply when he was interning at Sports activities Backers round 15 years in the past and helped set up a mud run at Henricus Park. Since then, he has liked all of Chesterfield’s out of doors points of interest, together with Pocahontas State Park, Metro Richmond Zoo and the waterfront trails alongside the James and Appomattox rivers.
“Chesterfield has out of doors recreation not like every other place on the East Coast,” Poma mentioned.
Whereas there isn’t any scarcity of issues to do within the area, one in all Chesterfield County’s largest leisure focuses proper now could be the way forward for sports activities tourism. In response to the county, in the course of the fiscal 12 months 2022, Chesterfield hosted 63 sports-related occasions at venues like River Metropolis Sportsplex and Horner Park that drew in over 250,000 attendees and generated $1.28 million in native tax income. These occasions helped to fill rooms at resorts and tables at native eating places, in addition to deliver extra guests to native companies and points of interest within the county.
As Poma prepares to start out his new function, he’s wanting to get to know native sports activities companions and work in the direction of enhancing Chesterfield’s present sports activities services and probably constructing new ones. However most of all, he needs to point out residents all of the alternatives that sports activities tourism can deliver to youth and adults alike.
“Sports activities tourism is a win-win for all,” he mentioned. “Individuals come from throughout to play right here, and our residents get to develop up with our venues.”
Providing sports activities alternatives to guests and other people residing within the county is particularly vital to Poma now that his household is getting extra concerned in native sports activities. His 3-year-old son is beginning T-ball quickly, and he’s excited for his youngsters to play in top-notch sports activities venues proper right here at house.
“I went all throughout the nation to play sports activities rising up, and we are able to play proper right here in our personal yard,” he mentioned.