TAMPA - Seventy middle school students recently spent a week participating in various sports while being encouraged to become leaders in schools and the community.
During the week of June 22 to 28, PlaySmart held its annual Tampa Summer Academy program at Blake High School. PlaySmart is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children reach their academic and life potential through sports.
Coaches Ken Muldrow and Mike Trepper oversaw the program.
Aside from participating in volleyball, football, basketball, soccer and swimming activities, the students also received classroom instruction from PlaySmart's mentors and guest speakers who encouraged the students to dream beyond the field and become leaders in their schools and in the community.
PlaySmart's goal is not to create professional athletes but to use sports as a vehicle to teach the skills needed for academic and life success through hard work, honesty, teamwork, sportsmanship and respect. They also toured the University of South Florida.
PlaySmart will sponsor its first Summer Academy in St. Petersburg July 22 to 26 at USF's St. Petersburg campus. For information, see www.playsmart.org or call (813) 288-8258.