Rodeo coming back to town

Cowboys will be saddling up for two more years at the Butte Civic Center according to an agreement that will be a boost for The Mining City, it was announced Tuesday.
Bill Melvin, Civic Center manager, told Advantage Butte at its August meeting the arena will be the site of the Northern Rodeo Association Finals through 2014, under an agreement extension. The NRA had held its finals in Billings until awarding the championship rodeo to Butte last year. It was held in October at the Civic Center and deemed successful by the Civic Center management and the rodeo association officers. Butte-Silver Bow officials had invested in the endeavor, including the buying of rodeo chutes fitted specifically to the configurations of the arena.
“It was originally a two-year agreement (through this fall),” Melvin confirmed. “Now we have it through at least 2014.”
He said the Pro Bull Riders also renewed their contract with the Civic Center to continue shows in the facility.
The meeting, held at the Butte Plaza Inn, heard reports from other sports entities in the community.
Don Peoples Jr., of the Maroon Activities Center, said the Holiday Hoops kids’ basketball tournament is set for Dec. 28-29 and expects the field to expand beyond the 67-team field of last year. He noted, too, that another popular kids’ tournament, The Mining City Hoopfest, is slated for Feb. 8-9 at several Butte gyms.
Chuck Merrifield, Butte High activities director, announced the school will be the host of the state high school speech meet Feb. 8-9.
Kelly Howery, representing the Butte Soccer Club, said the State Cup tournament held in Butte in June was well-received by participants. She added that the local club will begin registration for the spring season next month. Howery added that the State Cup and Premier Cup tournaments will be combined next summer and Butte has been eliminated from consideration as the host venue because of a perceived lack of enough hotel rooms.
Howery also reported that Butte resident and soccer club member John Lovell has been elected president of the Montana Youth Soccer Association.
Advantage Butte president Ron Davis, of Butte Broadcasting and, noted that the Butte Family YMCA has begun a program with the community’s sixth-graders. It includes presentations on bullying, nutrition and exercise for life, he said. Weight training and swimming for exercise will be included in the program.
Davis said Whittier School sixth-graders were included in a test group for the program last year and tracking showed the those who participated continued to use the Y facilities at least once a week thereafter.
Students who complete the program receive a certification that also carries a free one-year pass to the Y.
Donations finance the project, Davis said, with the United Way, Butte Ski Club and Community Counseling & Corrections Service being among the funding sources.
Sixth-graders in the Butte School District, at Butte Central and in Ramsay, take part in the program.
The next Advantage Butte meeting is scheduled for Sept. 18 at the Butte Plaza Inn.