July 27th marked the successful completion of the Lifetime Sports Academy's 15th summer with more than 1,300 participants this year and a total of 21,300 participants over the last 15 years. Group lessons in the lifetime sports of golf, tennis and swimming were offered to boys and girls, ages 8 – 18. Lessons focused on skill development.
"Through the Lifetime Sports Academy, thousands of local youths are learning skills that will truly last a lifetime," Mayor Tom Henry said. "Not only do we have award-winning parks and playgrounds that enhance the quality of life for our residents, we also have signature programs, such as the Sports Academy, that continue the tradition of providing healthy recreational opportunities to all of our citizens. By providing these free lessons each summer, the Academy serves as yet another example of how Fort Wayne is a community built for success."
Each year, the Parks and Recreation Department provides certified coaching and highly trained professionals who direct lessons in swimming, tennis and golf. Offering instruction in three sports has been a successful formula throughout the years. The Lifetime Sport Academy has developed a solid reputation and attracts a huge number of kids each summer.
This year, the following numbers of lessons were given: 2,300 golf lessons, 1,300 tennis lessons and 2,000 swim lessons. Participants have the opportunity to earn new tennis rackets, golf clubs, and more. Over 100 rackets and 50 sets of golf clubs were earned.
Since its beginning in 1998, Lifetime Sports Academy has awarded more than 1,500 tennis rackets and close to 1,050 sets of golf clubs to participants who passed their skills tests. Today's awards ceremony recognized outstanding sportsmanship and "Volunteer of the Year."
"The Lifetime Sports Academy accomplishes much more than sports education," said Director Moll. "This signature program helps our youth develop self esteem and a sense of belonging. Over the last 15 years it's become a model for parks and recreation departments all over the nation."
For more information about the Lifetime Sports Academy, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 427-6000 or log on to www.fortwayneparks.org.