Friday, July 19 marked the successful completion of the Lifetime Sports Academy’s 22nd summer with more than 1,000 participants this year and a total of 28,961 participants over the last 22 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: 2,040 golf lessons, 1,090 tennis lessons and 1,072 swim lessons. Participants have the opportunity to earn new tennis rackets, golf clubs, and more. In 2019, 60 rackets and 30 sets of golf clubs were earned.
Since its beginning in 1998, Lifetime Sports Academy has awarded more than 2,115 tennis rackets and close to 1,370 sets of golf clubs to participants who passed their skills tests.
“In its 22nd season, the Lifetime Sports Academy continues to fulfill its mission of teaching the lifelong sports of tennis, golf and swimming for free to youth,” said Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel. “This is truly a one of a kind program, and we couldn’t make this annual program happen without the strong public-private partnership that started 22 years ago between the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, Jerry Fox, and Tom Jehl.”
McDaniel added, “Nearly 29,000 youngsters have had the opportunity to participate in athletic activities they may never have had the chance to try if not for this program. They come to McMillen Park, they have some fun, learn some skills, and some even go on to play these sports in school and in area youth leagues. It’s a very important program to our department and to the community.”
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 sixth 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 Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation.