Opening day at McMillen Park’s Lifetime Sports Academy

Press release from Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation:

Opening Day at McMillen Park’s Lifetime Sports Academy

Mayor Tom Henry and Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll kicked off the 13th year of the Lifetime Sports Academy today at McMillen Park. Academy Supervisor Tom Hogan, Golf Professional Rick Hemsoth, participants and supporters of LSA joined the Mayor and Director Moll in encouraging the crowd of youth at opening day to stay active and participate in the seven week program as often as possible.

“The Lifetime Sports Academy is a signature program made possible because of healthy public-private partnerships,” said Mayor Henry. “It is a model for other park departments and is a leader in the nation.”

During the LSA session (June 14 – July 30), boys and girls ages 8 – 18 will receive free group lessons in golf, tennis and swimming instruction in a supervised environment from certified coaches and highly trained professionals and volunteers. They may attend as often as they wish and stay as long as they’d like 9 am – 3 pm.

“More than 16,000 kids have learned lifetime sports here in the last 12 years,” said Director Moll. “This program is free, safe, healthy and just plain fun. It’s a great way to kick off the summer season!”

A pavilion program provides arts, crafts and organized games. Special activities such as soccer, softball and volleyball will be organized at various times throughout the week for children not participating in group lessons. Lunch is provided daily through Fort Wayne Community School summer lunch program.

Also during the program, the Tom Jehl LSA Scholarship to the University of Saint Francis was awarded to Mary Bicknase and Joseph Guise. This scholarship is awarded to new students entering the University of Saint Francis that have participated in the Lifetime Sports Academy and have actively volunteered in the community. Two full-tuition scholarships are offered each year to highly qualified applicants that demonstrate a minimum of three years of participation in the Academy.

Before the kick-off, Golf Professional John Daly gave LSA participants golf tips and a demonstration. Daly is a two-time Major winner who has played on the PGA tour for over 20 years.

“We’d like to thank the Mad Anthony’s for scheduling John Daly’s presentation today,” said Perry Ehresman, Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Deputy Director. “Hearing from an athlete who’s succeeding is very inspiring to kids who are learning a new sport. We’ve had 860 kids earn golf clubs over the last 12 years and I have a feeling we’ll be giving away a lot more after John’s visit.”

Kids are welcome to register for Lifetime Sports Academy at any time during the seven weeks of activities. Call 427-6000 or visit www.fortwayneparks.org/programs for more information.

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