There’s a certain slogan Mark Roozen likes to use with his athletes.
‘Don’t just dream it, do it.’
The point is, of course, that any kind of success requires significant effort.
“We tell our kids all the time, ‘You may have this dream and want to do all these things, but you need action to go along with that,’” Roozen said.
With that mind, Roozen — who runs the Coach Rozy Performance Center for area high school athletes — and his support system through Avera Health have also taken action.
Avera recently contributed a $1 million gift to Mount Marty College’s Ruth Donohoe First Dakota Fieldhouse, which is scheduled for completion next summer. The announcement was made official at a Wednesday afternoon press conference on the Mount Marty campus, adjacent to the ongoing construction for the new $15 million, 100,000-square foot facility.
The fieldhouse will include a 7,500-square foot weight training and fitness facility, with nearly 3,000 square feet dedicated to Avera Sports and Coach Rozy Total Training for Elevated Performance.
The joint venture will benefit everyone involved, according to Roozen, who has worked with college, professional and Olympic athletes during his career.
“We already had a great relationship with Mount Marty, so this is a hand and glove situation,” Roozen said.
“This ties in perfectly.”
When the Coach Rozy programs first began five years ago, there were 100 athletes who took part, but that number has climbed to close to 1,000 this year, according to Roozen.
“Because of the growth in that program, we needed to invest in facilities to support that growth,” said Doug Ekeren, regional president and CEO of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital.
“Rather than duplicate what’s happening here at Mount Marty, we thought it made sense to talk with the college about a possible collaboration,” Ekeren added.
The fieldhouse — which will also include a 74,000-square foot event space and a 200-meter, eight-lane track, among other amenities — will be open to both Mount Marty students and the Yankton community.
That collaboration was an attractive quality to Avera, Ekeren added.
“We think, at the present time, the fieldhouse makes a perfect investment opportunity for us to also work together to look at the fitness and health of students and the community alike,” he said during Wednesday’s press conference.
The Avera gift to the fieldhouse project marks the organization’s second major gift to Mount Marty College in the past two years.
In October 2017, Avera contributed $1 million to the Avera Science and Nursing Center on the MMC campus, and also has partnered with the college through scholarship support and as a clinical site for many MMC students.
Supporting the impending fieldhouse only follows in that path of a shared vision, Ekeren said.
“We think it’s a win-win,” he said.
The Coach Rozy staff will get the space they need, while Mount Marty will see hundreds and thousands of high school students coming to campus for various programs, Ekeren added.
“It’s great exposure for them, and hopefully some of those kids will end up being students and athletes here,” he said.
Either way, those students will receive high-level training at a state-of-the-art facility, according to Mount Marty president Marc Long.
“I think moving into our 100,000 square foot facility with additional space with many athletes already there, will be great for that program,” he said.
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