Today marked the successful completion of the Lifetime Sports Academy’s 20th summer with more than 1,000 participants this year and a total of 26,950 participants over the last 20 years. Group lessons in the lifetime sports of golf, tennis and swimming were offered to boys and girls, ages 7 – 18. Lessons focused on skill development.
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, 1,500 tennis lessons and 1,772 swim lessons. Participants have the opportunity to earn new tennis rackets, golf clubs, and more. Over 90 rackets and 30 sets of golf clubs were earned.
“Fort Wayne is a great place for young people to participate in positive activities and learn new skills,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “We’re fortunate to have the Lifetime Sports Academy in our community. The program is making a lasting and meaningful impact.”
Since its beginning in 1998, Lifetime Sports Academy has awarded more than 1,970 tennis rackets and close to 1,325 sets of golf clubs to participants who passed their skills tests.
“In 1996, Jerry Fox and Tom Jehl spearheaded an effort to instill a lifetime of sports to all youth in Fort Wayne through tennis, golf and swimming. The Lifetime Sports Academy would be about having fun and learning skills that would be with them throughout their lives. These activities would be free, including all facilities, instruction and equipment,” said Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll. “It’s inspiring to see how far that idea has come. In 20 years, LSA has reached nearly 27,000 youth and even after 20 years, it remains a one of kind free experience.”
The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department’s Lifetime Sports Academy is sponsoring the First Tee National School Program in 34 Fort Wayne Community Elementary Schools for the fourth year this fall. The First Tee in-school golf program promotes character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf and is the result of a cooperative effort between the Indiana PGA, the Indiana Golf Foundation, Inc. and the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department.