April 22, 2022 - The 24th season of the Lifetime Sports Academy successfully wrapped up today with a fun day and award ceremony at McMillen Park for kids and parents. More than 800 participants in 2022 and over 30,500 since its inception, developed skills in the lifetime sports of golf, tennis and swimming. Group lessons were offered to boys and girls, ages 7 to 18 for seven weeks in June and July. Lessons focused on skill development.
Each year, the Fort Wayne 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: 1,613 golf lessons, 1,039 tennis lessons and 317 swim lessons. Participants have the opportunity to earn new tennis rackets, golf clubs, and more. In 2022, 30 tennis rackets and 35 sets of golf clubs were earned. Since its beginning in 1998, Lifetime Sports Academy has awarded more than 2,169 tennis rackets and over 1,435 sets of golf clubs to participants who passed their skills tests.
“After 24 years, the Lifetime Sports Academy continues to fulfill its mission of teaching the lifelong sports of tennis, golf and swimming to youth at no charge,” 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 25 years ago between the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, Jerry Fox, and Tom Jehl.”
McDaniel added, “Over 30,000 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 an exceptional 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 eighth 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.
For more information about the Lifetime Sports Academy, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 427-6000 or visit www.fortwayneparks.org.