VIDEO: Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Honors Founder, Supporters of ‘Field of Dreams’
By Alan Zlotorzynski // March 28, 2017
sports complex for those with special needs
ABOVE VIDEO: With Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and many other dignitaries on hand last January, Space Coast Field of Dreams opened to rave reviews. The new, $5.5 million, 5-acre sporting complex was designed for those with special needs and is a destination spot for families with special needs members who live throughout Central Florida.
2016 SPORTS DEVELOPMENT
Brevard Five-Acre Sporting Complex Designed Specifically For People With Special Needs
DREAM COME TRUE
The dream was 11 years in the making, the idea of Jim Tapp, longtime Brevard County resident and retired firefighter from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Tapp realized that children and adults with disabilities didn’t have a place to play sports in the county, let alone the state and thus the idea for Space Coast Field of Dreams.
Tapp had plenty of support such as local leaders Robin Fisher, Representative Steve Crisafulli and Senator Andy Gardiner.
In 2014, the dream became a lot closer to reality when Governor Rick Scott signed the state budget, which awarded $2 million and $50,000 to the Space Coast Field of Dreams; an additional $1 million was awarded in 2015.
Other founding supporters were the Eckerd Foundation, Embraer, Harris Corporation, Health First, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Walmart and many others.
With the Governor and other dignitaries on hand, on January 5, 2016, Space Coast Field of Dreams opened to rave reviews.
The new, $5.5 million, 5-acre sporting complex was designed especially for those with special needs. The Field of Dreams Sports Park is a destination spot for families with special needs members who live throughout Central Florida.
The mission is to develop and support a quality, all-accessible sports complex, playground and programs for children and adults that encourage a meaningful recreational experience for children and adults of all abilities. The complex certainly covered all of the bases in doing so.
The park has a 15,000 sq. ft. lit baseball field with rubber safety surfacing, an 11,000 sq. ft. lit soccer field with three individual practice/play areas with rubber safety surfacing.
Just about every outdoor sport is covered, including an 11,000 sq. ft. lit basketball court with two individual practice/play areas with rubber safety surfacing.
A disability-friendly playground for kids ages five to 12 also is located in the complex. The Space Coast-themed playground was designed by Leathers & Company and built by over 1,000 community volunteers over a five-day period in November.
Unique features include a zip line with bucket seat, a space shuttle-themed fort for kids ages two to five and a fish camp-themed fort for kids ages five to 12.
The Space Coast Field of Dreams also contains a covered soft-surface flex space that can be used for other activities, concession stand and clinic, as well as five family restrooms (three with roll-in showers) and men’s and women’s restrooms.
And to ensure that people with disabilities have easier access, 84 disability-friendly parking spaces with a curb-free design are located adjacent to the park.
Not one critical aspect was left out of the planning process. However, with so many events now scheduled to take place, overcrowding became a slight concern—that is until March 14 when the new Executive Director, Dr. Melissa Patton was hired.
An impassioned educator as well as an innovative, thriving entrepreneur who has devoted a lifetime to assisting people to better understand their purpose and potential through the vehicles of education, business development, and guidance aimed at personal and communal empowerment, Dr. Patton is the perfect selection.
A graduate of Benedictine University, Dr. Patton earned a Doctorate in Leadership and Organizational Change. With a great leader in place, the Space Coast Field of Dreams can continue to fulfill the lives of so many amazing people by helping to realize their dreams through participation in sports.
Space Coast Field of Dreams is a natural selection for the sports development category of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.