ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University coaches were honored this week for their efforts to bring big events – and thousands of people – to the Aberdeen region.
SPOTLIGHT, Hometown Hero awards
NSU Wolves Wrestling Head Coach Pat Timm received the fourth annual SPOTLIGHT award. NSU track coaches Kevin Bjerke and Lynne Nacke were also recognized as part of the Aberdeen Area Running Club, which received the eighth annual Hometown Hero Award. Both awards were presented at the Aberdeen Community Champions Luncheon.
The SPOTLIGHT award is given to a person who shines a positive light on the community on a regional, state or national level, according to information from the Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Timm helped bring the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association State Youth Wrestling Tournament to Aberdeen in 2012 – a two-day event that drew more than 1,100 participants and their families to the Barnett Center last March, according to CVB figures.
The Hometown Hero Award is given to a group that goes the extra mile to bring visitors to the community, according to the CVB information. Efforts by local coaches, including from Bjerke and Nacke from NSU, made it possible for the Aberdeen Area Running Club to host the USATF Region 8 Championships, which will be July 4-7 in Aberdeen. This event will bring in 1,000 to 1,300 athletes, families and coaches from six states, according to the CVB.
The coaches’ admirable efforts are among the numerous examples of how NSU draws people to Aberdeen. Another example: The NSU Barnett Center will host the state wrestling tournament next weekend. The state basketball tournament will follow next month, with large math and science fairs also planned at the Barnett Center this spring. The campus also hosts fine arts events such as All-State Band, large concerts and theater performances. The economic impact of these events on the Aberdeen area is enormous.