By BRAD KEITH
(July 30, 2017) — Brenda Haggard spent a quarter of a century working for the City of Stephenville, and if there was one constant partner she knew she could always rely on, it was the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation.
TAAF, as it is known statewide, had a surprise waiting for Haggard when she attended a Sunday social for liaisons who worked the Games of Texas in McAllen this past week. In front of colleagues who Haggard says are “like family,” she was presented a lifetime achievement award.
“Most of the people working at the Games of Texas are city employees, and since I’m officially retired now from the city, they presented me with the award and I had no idea it was coming. It was a complete surprise,” said Haggard. “I joked that it was their way of making me feel bad if I don’t keep coming back and work the track meet.”
It worked. She says with the games moving closer to home – College Station is the host city in 2018 and 2019 – she can’t imagine what would keep her from being at the track and field meet this time next summer.
Haggard expressed appreciation for the award and the family it represents.
“I looked around and there were so many people standing there applauding who I feel like do so much more than I ever do or did,” said the humbled Haggard. “It’s just such an honor. TAAF really is like another family to me because if you spend much time at all working with them that’s how they make you feel, like family.”
In Stephenville, Haggard was recreation superintendent for 12 years after 13 as recreation coordinator. She has worked the past 11 track and field championships at the Games of Texas, the state championship level of competition for children, adults and even seniors competing through recreation departments in TAAF member cities.
“TAAF is great because not only does it provide us with the rules and regulations that keep all our sports operating smoothly and fairly, but also because it gives us a structured source for advanced play,” Haggard said. “TAAF makes it so there is something bigger to compete in for the best teams and athletes from each local league, like the SPARD leagues here in Stephenville.”
Stephenville has become a regular at the TAAF Games of Texas in sports such as swimming and track and field. There is much more to the championships, like ping pong, for instance.
“It’s really incredible the number of sports and activities that are tied in with TAAF,” she said .”It is truly an organization with something for everyone.”
Stephenville has been associated with TAAF since Ronnie Isham was city recreation superintendent. Haggard believes SPARD has been a TAAF affiliate for about 40 years.
“I know I’m thankful for TAAF and the opportunities they bring to our residents here in Stephenville,” Haggard said.
It appears that works both ways. Clearly, TAAF is thankful for Haggard, too.