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By Jeff Terrill
Fort Wayne Reader
I’m going to depart from my usual topic to talk about something else for this column…
Summer is here. Finally. For some families, summer means camps, organized activities and vacations. For others, summer means no school and no structure. Not every parent can afford camps and clinics, right?
Kids do better when they are involved. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a place where kids could stay active all summer, swim and learn about healthy living and how to play golf and tennis? Imagine if a community summer program existed that was free of charge where kids could receive specialized training in sports that they could play throughout their lives.
I have good news. This place already exists. It’s called the Lifetime Sports Academy at McMillen Park and it’s about to begin its 16th year. Over 21,000 kids have participated in the academy since its inception. Last summer, over 1,300 students received swim, golf, tennis and life lessons.
Jerry Fox co-founded the Lifetime Sports Academy with Tom Jehl back in 1996. Since such time, they’ve raised millions of dollars to ensure kids throughout the community will have a place to learn and play for free each summer. Mr. Jehl passed in 2006.
The camp begins on June 10, 2013 and is open to boys and girls ages 8 to 18. The camp runs through July 26 and is offered at no charge each weekday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. After kids pass skill, etiquette and rules tests, they earn free golf clubs and a tennis racket. From there, they progress to more advanced training. Kids can also become certified as junior lifeguards. There’s more.
Each year, two participants are awarded the Tom Jehl Lifetime Sports Academy Scholarships (full tuition) to the University of St. Francis. Professional golfers John Daley and Amanda Blumenhurst have even dropped by to provide free instruction in past years. Many academy participants play high school tennis and golf. Several past participants have played at the collegiate level.
In 2007, the Lifetime Sports Academy added a $1.425 million facility at McMillen Park. The facility provides indoor conference rooms, driving ranges and tennis training areas that can be utilized year round. This is in addition to the newly added nine-hole golf course, basketball courts, driving and chipping range, putting green and tennis courts. The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, the Fort Wayne Sports Corporation, along with some very generous and dynamic individuals work together to make the Lifetime Sports Academy more successful each year.
Registration for this year is still open. If you know a youngster or a parent who is looking for a great opportunity for a child, please tell them about the Lifetime Sports Academy. Kids can go all day or part of the day. Keep the kids involved this summer. Call the Parks and Recreation Department at 427-6000 or the Lifetime Sports Academy at 427-6760 for more information.
Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you.