Ingold Sports Park turns 16

Serving on the Fallbrook Sports Association board are, from left, Ben Hathcock, Bob Halibozek, Mark Polarek, park manager Kurt Wideman, Kristin McDougal, Bryan Hanewinckel, Mark McDougal, Steve Rosenbaum, Katie Downey, Bob Tavano and Tim Bresnahan.
Serving on the Fallbrook Sports Association board are, from left, Ben Hathcock, Bob Halibozek, Mark Polarek, park manager Kurt Wideman, Kristin McDougal, Bryan Hanewinckel, Mark McDougal, Steve Rosenbaum, Katie Downey, Bob Tavano and Tim Bresnahan.

FALLBROOK – This year, Ingold Sports Park is celebrating 16 years of promoting healthy lifestyles and enriching lives in the community by facilitating sports and a variety of fun, family-oriented activities.

Today, the park hosts about 3,000 weekly visitors, making it one of the busiest places in town. Tournaments bring many visitors to Fallbrook for the first time. In recent years, the park has hosted teams from Northern and Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.

In 1990, the idea of a multi-sport complex was originated by two Fallbrook citizens, Bob Hegardt and Bob Ingold. They knew Fallbrook desperately needed to provide quality sports and recreational activities for its youth. They realized that Fallbrook was growing as a town, but because it was not a city, but an unincorporated area of San Diego County, it was not getting funding for sports venues.

Ingold and Hegardt, both local Rotarians, teamed with a group of local sports enthusiasts and decided that if Fallbrook was going to have a complex like this, they would have to rally the community and raise the money themselves.

Together with groups like CSA 81, whose purpose is to distribute Parkland Dedication Ordinance funds from the County, and many generous donors, including the Bob Ingold family, the Angel Society, local Rotary Clubs, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Fallbrook Healthcare Foundation and hundreds of individual donations, they made the dream a reality when the park opened in June 2000.

The park is managed by the Fallbrook Sports Association, a 10 person all-volunteer board. Board member Bob Tavano said, “It’s important for the community to realize that Ingold Sports Park is not a county run facility, but a not-for-profit private park.”

All ongoing expenses to maintain and operate the park come from league fees – all our youth programs such as FYSL, VILLA FC and FYSL, in addition to Senior Softball – and the generous donations of local citizens and businesses. The park also receives tremendous support from CSA-81, which continues to assist with the many building projects at the park.

The park hosts a variety of sports for young and old including soccer, softball, rugby, and more, serving residents of ages 5 to 85. In addition, Ingold Sports Park has hosted many community events and private parties.

New to the park this year are field sponsors. Several prominent sponsors have stepped up, donating funds to the park, to have a field named after their organization. First to take advantage of this was the Rotary Club of Fallbrook, which was the home club to both Bob Hegardt and Bob Ingold and played a huge role in the inception of the park, as did the Fallbrook Village and Bonsall Rotary clubs.

Other field sponsors are Major Market, The Angel Society of Fallbrook and the Hegardt Group at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Many local businesses have been busy advertising their companies with banners displayed at the park.

Any other businesses or groups who are interested in helping the sports park will find details at www.ingoldsportspark.com.

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