Q: Why do Atlantans need access to sports facilities?
A: There are lot of studies on how important sports are in terms of socialization and self-confidence. It is all that but it is also a way to be active and fit.
Q: Can you talk about your nonprofit?
A: Basically the mission is to educate and engage the community with comprehensive wellness programs and activities. The vision started with sports and has grown to include fitness and nutrition and environmental stewardship. I figure if we are going to create facilities, we should look at having solar energy and water harvesting and gardens.
Q: What are you doing now?
A: We have a short-term goal of creating a local network and being a clearinghouse for information on our website on sports and fitness and health. We are creating events highlighting some of the local organizations. The first one was last month in Candler Park, called PLAY DAY. We are planning four more for 2013. All of this is leading up to a new intown facility, a model that the city can be proud of.
Q: You have your sights set on the Pullman Yard, correct?
A: To me it is a perfect fit. It is 25 acres, with 120,000 square feet of historic buildings. It sits between two MARTA stops with a bike path running into it. We would like to buy it or arrange a long-term lease.
Q: Who would come?
A: I envision this facility being used from the early morning until the early morning, from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. I envision it being used by young, old and disabled people, by leagues renting space, by kids in after school programs, by the public. I see having a homeschool program and partnerships with schools, basically most of the community.
Q: Is this a pipe dream or do you really have a shot at this?
A: We really have a shot. Obviously it is a dream but dreams do come true especially when you have a thriving city like Atlanta. You have an underutilized space and you have a demand for space. To me, it has to happen.
The Sunday conversation is edited for length and clarity. Writer Ann Hardie can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.