A new Sport experience
Core Sports Revolution
Hey, what’s up World Wide Web.
My name is Kyle Flowers and I am broadcasting this message to you today from the quaint village of Alexis Illinois, my hometown. It is also home of Alexis custom built firetrucks, historic American home of the Clydesdale, and it is now the home to something new that I’m here to share with you today.
But, before I let that cat out of the bag just yet, I want to give you give you some context and history, as to how I got to this point, and why I’m sharing this message with you today.
And, in order to properly do that I need to take you back to my youth and let you know as a young person I was always into art and music, and to this day, I like to think of myself as a creative person.
But, aside from that, I was also really into sports throughout my formative years, and like most people, I remain a sports fan as an adult.
So, with those two traits ever present in the hardwiring of my mind, several years ago, I had an idea.
And, this idea of mine really stemmed from a statement, or better yet, an observation to myself. That observation was this; Of the top team sports that we, as human beings enjoy today, (I’m talking football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, and volleyball), it has been over 100 years since any one of those said sports have been invented.
Having made that observation, I said to myself, “OK then self, what would YOU do if YOU created a sport?
And it was at that moment, the seed of this idea was planted in my mind and slowly began to grow.
So, if you haven’t already guessed, the idea that I am here to share with you today is, in fact, an original concept for a new team sport!….. pause for reaction…. 😁 .
When forming this concept, there were a few criteria that kept coming to mind.
One was, to create a completely original concept. But, the other was to create something that had a familiarity to it and could be picked up and learned quickly and easily.
So having said that, I began researching and developing this idea. And, aside from all the original ideas flowing in and out of my mind, I also drew inspiration from those team sports that we all know and love, and I began to pull together certain aspects I liked from each sport, and eliminate certain aspects I didn’t like. I mixed all those ideas together and came up with something completely fresh and new.
So, after years of working and honing of this idea, without further ado, I am here today to share with you the final concept and design of the new team sport known as CORE! That’s C-O-R-E, CORE.
CORE is a word that would continue to surface in my thoughts while I was in the process of developing this idea.
For starters, the playing field is an 84’ diameter circle and the goal hangs above the ground in the CORE of the circle.
And, the fundamental concept of the game itself is offensively earning your way into the CORE of the playing field.
Not to mention, while envisioning the goal in the initial concept, the shape of an apple CORE was the main inspiration for the goal’s design.
Plus, once I landed on the word CORE, I said to myself that I should create an acronym for CORE. And, no sooner than I had that initial thought, the phrase “Completely Original Revolutionary Experience” spilled out of my mouth without any effort whatsoever.
It was at that point, I took it as a sign that indeed CORE was going to be the title attached to this game.
I mentioned earlier, when forming this concept, there were a few criteria that kept coming to mind. And, to add to that list, when initially forming this idea, I knew I wanted the sport to be played on a turf product. But, I also wanted the sport to be played primarily indoors.
So it was at that point, I began to search the internet and scan the country for a “portable” turf system that could be assembled and disassembled relatively quickly and easily onto a gymnasium floor.
I came across a product known as “FastGrass” being manufactured by the company “SporTurf” out of Dalton, GA. And if you know anything about Dalton, you will know that it is the carpet capital of the world.
This FastGrass product was the perfect solution, and the key to my portable indoor turf needs.
The turf comes standard as a 12 x 100 roll, but can be customized to different widths and/or lengths. The backing of the turf is a 5 mm foam pad for impact protection and the underside of the pad itself has a felt backing to eliminate scratching hardwood flooring underneath.
And, the biggest key to this FastGrass product is the Velcro strip sewn onto the seams allowing the seams to adhere together connecting rolls together creating a solid turf surface.
After working with the product and getting an understanding for the functionality of the turf, a crew of 6 people are capable of covering a gymnasium floor, and make it ready for play within an hour or less. And the same can be said for disassembly of the turf.
So, at this point in the story, I had my idea and I had this portable turf product, but finding a location to call home and display this new sport was my next challenge.
Fortunately for me, living in my hometown, I had the opportunity to use the gymnasium at my old alma mater, Alexis High School. Alexis HS consolidated schools back in the early 2000’s and at that point, the facility was converted into a community center by a local gentleman, Mr. Rick Bertelson. Rick transformed old high school into the Alexis Fieldhouse Company, and kept the building alive throughout the years hosting a variety of sports and family events.
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, and shut down businesses across the country, the Alexis Fieldhouse was no different. Sports and events had to stop for the time being, which ultimately turned out to be an opportunity for me.
With my local gymnasium basically empty in 2020, I approached Rick about my idea, and asked if he would be willing to let me rent the gymnasium for the remainder of 2020. He graciously agreed, and that allowed me to FINALLY bring this idea I’d been working on for several years into physical reality!
While taking residence at the Fieldhouse, and with no end (at the time) of the COVID-19 lockdown in sight, Rick and I began having conversations about the possibility of him stepping away from the facility in order to focus on other things in life. Rick saw my ideas and my passion to bring activities back to the Fieldhouse for families and youth, and was supportive from day one.
After a few months of conversations, Rick made the decision to sell the Fieldhouse, and was more than accommodating in order for me to position myself to be able to purchase the facility. I’m sure he could have gotten more for the location from other potential buyers, but he believed in my vision and he wanted to be sure the Fieldhouse would be a place for local communities to gather for years to come.
On February 1st 2021, I closed a deal with Rick for the property, and took over ownership of the facility which is now known as the Western Illinois Fieldhouse. Not only will this facility be the proud birthplace of my beloved pet project CORE, but will also host a full calendar year of various sports and family activities.
I’m deeply grateful to Rick for passing the torch along to me, and this is just the beginning.