Exit133 is about Tacoma

Olympic Medalist to Join STAR Center Opening Celebration May 19

Local two-time Olympic bronze medal speed skater J.R. Celski will join Metro Parks Tacoma celebrate the grand opening of its new STAR (South Tacoma Activity and Recreation) Center, 3873 S. 66th Street, Saturday, May 19.

Opening events start at 9 am with a 2-mile family-friendly fun adventure run through SERA (South End Recreational Adventure) campus, followed by a grand opening salute to honor local veterans and active-duty military in a special flag-raising ceremony, plus plenty of free program demos and center tours.

Celski is scheduled to arrive at STAR Center at 9 am to participate in the opening events, sign autographs, and discuss the importance of sports and fitness to people of all ages and abilities.

The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), which supports both U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes, arranged to bring back the former Federal Way athlete to celebrate the opening of the Center and its Adaptive Recreation Program that provides valuable recreational and competitive sporting opportunities to all members of the community.  Additionally, the USOC arranged for Paralympic Skier Sean Halstead to provide the keynote address during a separate STAR Center recognition event hosted on May 17.

Metro Parks Tacoma’s Adaptive Recreation program is the only designated Paralympic Sport Club in the South Sound. Begun in 2009, the program is one of the leading providers of Paralympic sports, physical training and adaptive recreation opportunities serving active-duty military, veterans, and community members with physical disabilities or injuries.

“The Adaptive Recreation Program is designed for participants at all levels to build and maintain fitness, develop skills, socialize, train and compete”, said Parker Ayers, Metro Parks Adaptive Recreation Specialist. “The primary goal is to get participants active through sports and recreation. Once involved, participants recognize the possibilities are endless.”

“We are honored that the USOC selected J.R. Celski to join Metro Parks in the opening of this valuable community center”, said Shon Sylvia, Metro Parks Director of Recreation and Community Services. “STAR Center is the new headquarters for Metro Parks’ Adaptive Recreation Program which is just one of the many community programs that STAR Center offers within its mission to help keep residents healthy and active.”

STAR Center offers a wide selection of recreational and enrichment programs to meet the diverse needs of the entire community. Throughout the grand opening celebration, the community will have ample opportunity to explore and sample all the programs and services offered at STAR Center and throughout SERA campus.

Background
STAR Center is co-located on the 75-acre SERA campus, at 3873 S. 66th Street in Tacoma, along with Gray Middle School and the Boys & Girls Club’s Topping Hope Center. STAR Center provides a wide range of community programs for people of all ages and abilities, including wellness, performing and visual arts and day camps.

More information about STAR Center is available at StarCenterTacoma.org or by calling the STAR Center information line at (253) 404-3939.

United States Olympic Committee
Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the United States Olympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. As such, the USOC is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic Movement throughout the country.


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