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Alabama Sports Festival registration

MONTGOMERY — Registration is now open for the Alabama Sports Festival (ASF) State Games XXVII. Register quickly and hassle-free at www.alagames.com.

The 27th Annual State Games are open to all residents of Alabama, from novices to those with elite abilities, from youth to senior citizens. The 2009 State Games will feature more than 20 sports: archery/bowhunting, baseball, basketball, bowling, cycling, disc golf, diving, flag football, gymnastics, lacrosse, shooting sports, soccer, softball, swimming, taekwondo, track & field, triathlon, indoor volleyball and wrestling; plus two new sports: a football kicking competition and table tennis.

Opening Ceremonies for all athletes will be at 7 p.m. on June 19, televised live from the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex Arena and is free to the public. The Opening Ceremonies will feature the Parade of Athletes, Lighting of the Cauldron, Honoring Our Heroes presentation, musical entertainment and more.

The 2009 ASF Athlete Leadership Summit will begin at 5:30 p.m., just before the Opening Ceremonies, at the BJCC. The Athlete Leadership Summit emphasizes the importance of academic excellence, good citizenship skills, good sportsmanship and the development of peer group leadership skills. Last yearʼs speaker was winning football coach and Alabama native Bobby Bowden.

To show its commitment to good academics and higher education, the Alabama Sports Festival is awarding ten $1,000 college scholarships during the 2009 Athlete Leadership Summit and Opening Ceremonies. All registered athletes and coaches in attendance will be eligible to win.

“The Alabama Sports Festival is proud to be offering these Olympic-style games to Alabamians as we have for the past 27 years,” Executive Director Marc T. Riker said. “If you haven’t been to the Alabama Sports Festival before has have been missing out. This year we want to stress that we are a great event for families to stay in Alabama and play in Alabama. Be sure to be a part of our 27th Anniversary.”

The Alabama Sports Festival, now in its 27th year, is a non-profit organization that started at the request of the United States Olympic Committee and is part of a nationwide network of state games programs. The ASF teaches the importance of academics and good citizenship through statewide Olympic-style athletic competition. For more information and updates about the Alabama Sports Festival and the 2009 State Games XXVII, visit www.alagames.com.