Tenacity Sports looks to grow community sports on Mercer Island

It’s not uncommon to drive around Mercer Island on weeknights, or weekends, and see people playing a game of pick-up basketball at a public court, or a group tossing a football around one of the parks.

It is also not uncommon that the more organized games are often put together by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

What is new about some of those games on Mercer Island is that the city is working with a new community sports venture, Tenacity Sports, to run and organize those games.

Jon Tam and Don Le started the company, originally doing it during their free time at night and on weekends while working full-time jobs, but just made the move to running Tenacity full time.

“We’re in super start-up mode,” said Tam. So far the company has organized a flag football tournament, two flag football leagues, and this weekend will be holding a basketball tournament at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.

“A team trying us out and telling us this is what they want is all we could ask for,” said Tam.

The men’s basketball tournament, which will be held Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11, features teams of five playing on a full court with three games guaranteed.

In the winter, the company debuted the Friday Night Lights football league, which played for eight weeks. They will be offering the same program this spring, starting on March 16.

“We’ve had a lot of residents (participating), which is a big part of what we’re trying to do,” said Tam. “Our motto is community, camaraderie, competition, connections, which is what it boils down to for us. We want to create a stronger tie, and Mercer Island has been instrumental in that.”

Tam said they have a great loyalty to Mercer Island, as it was the first city that said yes to working with them. Essentially, Tenacity Sports augments the offerings that the city has, focusing on adult sports. Tam said they hope to offer another indoor sport, such as volleyball or dodgeball in the coming months, before maybe moving outside when the weather turns nicer.

“We’re not closed off as far as what we’d like to offer,” said Tam. That may include individual sports down the line, like running races.

Tam said the company’s core mission is to help people in their community connect with each other through sports. They even hope to someday be able to offer volunteer projects for members to give back to the community and health and wellness-type programs for companies.

“We want to give people more opportunities to stay active,” said Tam. “It’s great to have that outlet.”

While the company will be focused on running and creating the events, they also hope to work on creating an extremely efficient registration process. Tam said while he is more of the big picture conceptual partner of the company, partner Le is the technical, how to make it work, part.

“We want to have a more efficient registration process,” he said. The hope is to create a system that would allow individuals to register and be matched to teams, as well as helping people keep track of achievements and progress. At the moment, champions of Tenacity Sports leagues get T-shirts, but Tam said they hope to use the online tool to help people track themselves as they practice and compete.

To learn more, or to register for a team or league, visit


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