Youth Sports

Inspiring Javi Perez throws out first pitch at St. Thomas University

Former St. Thomas University Assistant Baseball Coach and current South Dade High School Principal Javier “Javi” Perez threw out the first pitch as STU opened the 2017 baseball season in Miami Gardens. Perez lost both legs during a near-fatal accident in April. He is pictured with longtime friend and St. Thomas University Head Baseball Coach Jorge Perez.
Former St. Thomas University Assistant Baseball Coach and current South Dade High School Principal Javier “Javi” Perez threw out the first pitch as STU opened the 2017 baseball season in Miami Gardens. Perez lost both legs during a near-fatal accident in April. He is pictured with longtime friend and St. Thomas University Head Baseball Coach Jorge Perez.

It was an unforgettable Opening Night that inspired, reunited old friends and ended in an electric win by the St. Thomas University baseball team.

Javier “Javi” Perez, the principal of South Dade High School and a former assistant baseball coach for St. Thomas University (1996-98), returned to St. Thomas to help the Bobcats start their 2017 campaign and their quest for a return trip to the NAIA World Series.

“It was very emotional to be back at St. Thomas where I started my coaching career,” said Javi. “It was an amazing night for me.”

Javi, a close friend of St. Thomas University Head Baseball Coach Jorge Perez, came back to STU on Opening Night, nine months after a near-fatal accident where he lost both legs. Javi has been on the road to recovery ever since, a courageous journey with the goal of walking again.

Opening Night started with a private meeting in the Bobcats’ locker room where Monsignor Franklyn Casale, the president of St. Thomas University, led the group in prayer before Javi addressed the 2017 Bobcats, sharing in detail his inspirational story of courage and faith. The Bobcats then spoke with Javi further before heading to Paul Demie Mainieri Field for Opening Night in Miami Gardens.

“Talking to the team was the most impactful part of the night, even for me,” said Javi. “Baseball does build the foundation. I am who I am today because of baseball. Like me, they (the current players) are going to be the fathers and the leaders in the community because of baseball and the things that they learn playing.

"My main message to the team was that life is going to throw you obstacles, or curve balls using the baseball term, and you have to bounce back, you have get up, and you have to keep trying no matter what comes at you. Some problems are bigger than others and obviously I am dealing with some serious stuff, but it's not the worst thing in the world. I am alive and the Lord gave me a second chance to be able to see my kids grow up and to do some big things in the community for people who might need my help.”

Once at the field, many friends and former teammates reunited with Perez who not only coached the Bobcats but also played baseball for the Florida Memorial Lions, STU’s opponent on Opening Night.

“My old baseball coach [Robert Smith] is now the athletic director at Florida Memorial. Coach Smith visited me at the hospital when the accident happened and it was great to visit with him again. I was also able to see many longtime friends from my days at St. Thomas as well as players who I once coached both at St. Thomas and at the high school level.”

The Opening Night rosters for the Bobcats and Lions were introduced as both teams stood at attention along the first and third base lines setting up the main event as Javi headed toward the mound and threw the ceremonial first pitch to mark the start of the 2017 season.

The two teams remained in position for the National Anthem before the season began in earnest with the Bobcats responding with a four-run first inning. STU would win the game 11-0, capped off by a two-run home run by James Spatafora as five Bobcat pitchers combined on a one-hitter.

The whole night was made possible due to a tremendous friendship and lifelong bond between STU Head Coach Jorge Perez and Javi.

“Jorge is like a brother to me,” said Javi. “I have known Jorge for a very long time. In baseball, we create tremendous relationships growing up and those friendships last forever. We have stayed in touch our whole adult lives and have helped at every opportunity. He’s a tremendous person, and I really appreciate him giving me the opportunity to come back to St. Thomas and talk to the team.”

Before the night was done, Coach Jorge Perez made Javi an offer to return to St. Thomas to once again throw out the first pitch.

“Before the season ends, Jorge and I made a deal that I would come back and throw the first pitch again but this time walking [with prosthetic legs] or maybe he will even let me catch the first pitch.” Javi was a catcher as a player and coached catchers as an assistant coach for the Bobcats.

Donations were collected for #JaviStrong on Opening Night to help Javi and his family with incurring medical costs for his rehabilitation and his prosthetics. To support Perez, donations are being accepted via Go Fund Me at https://www.gofundme.com/javiPerez and his journey and upcoming events can be found on social media using the hashtag #JaviStrong.

North Miami Beach Little League

North Miami Beach Little League baseball at Ives Estates, Mishcon, Pelican and Uleta parks.

Minors-Juniors (7-8 Year Old Coach Pitch)

In a see-saw battle, the Yankees played the Reds to a tie at nine. Down 7-5 with two outs, Joshua Jakubowicz hit a 2-run double to tie the game. Jacob Luck and Jordan Acevedo then capped a 4-run inning to go ahead 9-7. In the bottom of the last inning with two outs, Mateo Kurtz doubled, and then Gabriel Gamon hit a 2-run home run to secure the tie. Yankees first baseman Anthony Ortega registered all three put-outs in the second inning, including an unassisted double play.

The Giants improved to 3-1 on the season with a hard fought victory against the Twins. The Giants scored three runs in the top of the first following a lead-off single by Ethan Scharf and back-to-back triples by Ben Marks and Giuseppe Ranalli. Madison Leyva went 2-3, and Ranalli was 3-3 with 2 triples. The defense looked sharp with key plays from Ethan, Ben, Spencer Kabak and Noah Paul in the fourth and fifth innings to preserve the win. The Twins kept the game within reach thanks to a 2-run home run from Jason Colon in the third inning. Robby Kramer provided additional offense going 2-2.

Minors (9-10 Year Old Kid Pitch)

In the game of the night, Lukas Bolten pitched 2 1 /3 scorless innings, and Ashton Sklar hit an inside-the-park home run and earned the save as the Tigers edged the Marlins 2-1. On the last play of the game, the Marlins slugger lined a ball into the outfield. Center fielder Adam Siegel then hit the cutoff Josh Poletto, and he fired a strike to catcher Isi Waich who made a great catch before applying the tag to end the game.

The Dodgers beat the Tigers 9-6. Dodgers pitchers Jonathan Frank, Gabriel Vinderman and Joseph Cucinotta combined to strike out eight in three innings. Ross Cotzen hit a grand slam home run to put the Dodgers ahead for good. For the Tigers, Leander Diaz, Josh Poletto and Lukas Bolten struck out two batters each. Adam Siegel and Bolten had two hits apiece.

Lead-off man Eli Fischbach drew a walk-off RBO walk with the bases loaded to win the game for the Marlins over the Astros 8-7. Closer Zachary Fischer earned the win and also sparked the offense with a hit, a walk and 2 RBI. Star center fielder Sammy Hodes received the game ball for scoring the winning run and drawing two walks.

Majors (11-13 Year Old Kid Pitch)

In a back and forth contest, the Cubs edged the Rockies 8-6. The Rockies took a 4-0 lead on a 3-run homer by Brandon Lopez. The Cubs chipped away at the lead with seven hits in the next few innings, and finally took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on timely hits from Jason Benezra and Eli Slomovitz. Jacob Poletto closed the game striking out five on 19 pitches in 1 2 /3 innings. Dovid Budwick and Josh Krutchik had key hits for the Rockies.

The Royals beat the Mets 9-4. Ryan Pedram pitched two solid innings with six strikeouts while allowing three runs. He also went 2 for 3, delivered an RBI and stole home twice. Benji Sherwin pitched two good innings with three strikeouts while allowing only one run. He added a hit and an RBI. Alex Allocco made some good defensive plays in the field for the Mets. He also had an RBI and scored.

The Indians improved to 3-0 after topping the Pirates. Dovi Schwartz pitched four innings for the win. Luis Torrens hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to put the Indians up for good. The Pirates rallied with strong hitting by Jonah Handler and Santi Ramirez, but it was too little too late.

Southwood softball

The Southwood Middle School girls’ softball team went undefeated to win the Miami-Dade County Public Middle School Championship.

With two sixth grade pitchers (Emme Fundora and Madison Herran), the Superstars went 6-0, outscoring the opposition 80-4. They beat Glades Middle 13-0 in the first playoff game. Then they edged Ammons Middle 3-2 in the semifinals. In the finals, they defeated Miami Springs Middle 10-1.

The champs also feature Kristen Brito, Hailey Donovan, Jenifer Garces, Samantha Triana, Malia Townsend, Vanessa Bouchard, Jenna Hernandez, Melody Vizcamo, Alyssa Bonilla, Stephanie Osorio, Jordan Ives, Cassidy Stouffer, and Josie Quick. The coach is Jaime Jimenez.

Dolphins High School All-Star Game

Miami Dolphins Youth Programs -- in partnership with the Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) and the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA) -- continued a six-year tradition in hosting the Dade vs. Broward All-Star High School Football Game presented by Broward College.

Dade took home the victory in a 12-6 decision over Broward. Kord Jenkins (RB – Miami Central) was named the Offensive MVP and Daniel Crescitelli (LB – Douglas) the Defensive MVP.

Standout high school seniors from Miami-Dade and Broward counties were selected to participate in the event at Nathaniel Traz-Powell Stadium in Miami.

Dade Head Coach Tim Neal (Southwest Miami) shared his excitement in being named the 2017 Dade vs. Broward All-Star Champions.

“It feels great. Glad we had the opportunity. We made it a big deal. We haven't won it in a couple of years, and it was nice to have it back in Miami,” Neal said. “We had a good talent of kids and great coaches from the north and the south which made for a really good mix.”

Broward Head Coach Al Lang (Hollywood Hills) expressed his gratitude to the seniors who played hard.

“Their last high school game. This is something special that they can remember. They got the jerseys to keep as a souvenir. It meant a lot to them,” he said. “Defense played well. Just three days of practice is really tough, but we played hard. It was an honor. I was glad I was able to finish my career coaching these young men.”

The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ mission is to emphasize the importance of education, physical fitness, and positive choices for kids in a safe and fun environment. The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ vision is to prepare the next generation of leaders in staying physically active through its Junior Training Camps (JTC), Youth Football Clinics and Youth Football Camps.

Mo Steel flag football

Based in North Miami Beach, three Mo Steel Football age group teams (Juniors 10U, Seniors 12U, Vets 14U) competed at the NFL Flag National Tournament of Champions at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee.

To participate in this elite tournament, each team had to win an NFL Flag Regional Tournament. Only eight teams per age group earn this honor.

The Mo Steel boys represented Miami well. Juniors (10U) reached the semifinals where they were defeated by the eventual national champions from Hawaii. They finished the season rank third in the country. The Seniors (12U) went 3-0 in pool play, earning them the top seed in the playoffs. They lost in the quarterfinals in a heartbreaker. With 7 of 10 players playing up an age group, the Vets (14U) were just a few plays away from reaching the finals and making it to the big stage on ESPN.

Suniland football

The Suniland Sundevils are looking for experienced volunteer youth coaches for the 2017 Miami Xtreme Tackle Football Season.

For Information contact Jose Regalado at 305-458-1966 or josearegalado@att.net.

Highland Oaks track

The Highland Oaks Middle School track teams continued their strong season at the Miami-Dade County Fair Invitational at Tropical Park.

The girls’ team defeated 23 teams to capture first place for the second consecutive week. Paris Baker led the Panthers with wins in the 100-meter dash and 400-meter and fourth in the 200. Baker’s 58.42 time in the 400 broke the previous Fair record held by HOM’s Ebony Rose in 2007.

Jada Joseph won the triple jump, placed second in the high jump and took third in the long jump. Brook Couri was second in the triple jump and third in the long jump. Cha’iel Johnson won the 800 with Jasmine Washington finishing third. Washington was also fourth in the 400 and eighth in the discus. Anissa Lespinase-Casimir was fourth in the 1,600, and Amber Keaton was fifth in the discus.

The 1,600 relay (Lespinase-Casimir, Johnson, Destiny Desrivieres, Baker) won while setting the Fair record for the second consecutive year in 4:26. The 3,200 relay (Johnson, Brianna Easy, Washington, Lespinase-Casimir) also finished first.

The boys team also bested 23 teams to take top honors. Bradley Mesa won meet MVP by winning the discus and high jump and finishing third in the shot put. Winsome Frazier and Cawa Fernandes tied for second in the long jump, and Frazier also placed fourth in the 400-meter and fifth in the 200.

Gaethan Bernadel was fourth in the shot put and sixth in the discus. Aaron Nibbs was fourth in the discus. Jaleel Gelin placed sixth in the 1,600. The 400 relay (Mesa, Fernandes, Joseph Washington, Frazier) was fourth. The 3,200 relay (Anthony Edouard, Isaac Castro, Sandro Pierre Jules, Gelin) and the 1,600 relay (Edouard, Castro, Washington, Castro) each took fifth.

Miami Country Day sports

Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Sydney Shaw – Basketball - scored 12 points and had 3 steals in the high school district semifinal win against Hialeah Educational Academy.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Jovan Joseph – Lacrosse - scored two goals in the high school varsity team’s pre-season wins against Golden Gate High School and Riverdale.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Kelsey Marshall – Basketball - combined for 38 points, 8 assists, 11 rebounds, and 11 steals in wins against Hialeah Educational Academy and Sagemont.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Michael Mcpherson – Soccer - made 7 outstanding saves to lead the Spartans in a 3-0 Regional semifinal win against Westminster Academy.

More events, leagues, programs

Israel Tennis Centers

This year marks the beginning of the next exciting chapter in the extraordinary impact of the Israel Tennis Centers, the largest social service agency for children in Israel. Last year the organization celebrated its 40th anniversary of empowering Israel’s children… beyond tennis… since the ITC’s first center opened in Ramat Hasharon in 1976.

“We are extremely proud of what the Israel Tennis Centers has achieved over these last 4 decades,” said ITC Founder Bill Lippy. “The ‘Miracle in the Desert’ is what we call the Israel Tennis Centers, transforming the lives of over 20,000 underserved Israeli children every year, over 500,000 since 1976. 40 years of witnessing the growth of the ITC from one single center to 14 today is an incredible testimony to what can be done when people come together to help those less fortunate reach their full potential.”

This year that celebratory spirit continues, as the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation announced plans for an exciting series of tennis exhibitions throughout South Florida including:

Sat., March 4 at The Gables Club in Coral Gables

A diverse team of Israeli players and coaches representing various Israel Tennis Centers will be sharing their personal stories about what the ITC has meant to them, their families and the communities in which they live. The centers represent a safe and nurturing environment in which these children can learn vital life skills and values while sharpening their tennis skills.

The focus of the ITC is on improving children’s lives every day so they can become better human beings. Through its social impact programs, a wide range of children are served, including youth at risk, immigrants from Ethiopian and Russia and children with special needs, from autism and ADHD to Down Syndrome as well as those with developmental and physical disabilities. The ITC also recognizes the ability of tennis to bring together children from different religions and ethnicities as seen in its highly successful Coexistence Program.

The Israeli players will include Shadi, a 17-year-old Bedouin teenager who is part of the ITC’s High Performance Group at the Samson Israel Tennis Center in Beer Sheva. Shadi also participates in the ITC’s Coexistence Program that brings Israeli children from various backgrounds together to learn the importance of tolerance and understanding of one another. “I am proud to be part of the ITC, one in which we are taught to respect and appreciate each other’s differences. I play with a large group of Jewish kids and we have all become very close friends. We are truly one big happy family.”

For more information or to attend any of these special events and meet Shadi and his teammates, contact ITC Vice President of Development Yoni Yair at 954-480-6333 x223 or yyair@israeltenniscenters.org. Visit the ITC website at www.israeltenniscenters.org.

About the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation:

For 40 years the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation (ITC), a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization, has worked tirelessly through the medium of sport to enhance the development of Israeli youth. Since opening its first center in Ramat Hasharon in 1976, the ITC has helped over a half million children, many of whom come from outlying and underserved towns throughout Israel. The ITC’s 14 centers stretch from Kiryat Shmona on the Lebanese border in the North to Beer Sheva in the South.

Tennis

The Tennis Committee of the USA Deaf Sports Federation is currently recruiting players with hearing disability to represent the U.S. at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey on July 18-30.

As United States citizens, players may be deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired, cochlear implanted, late deafened, hearing challenged, or hearing disabled to qualify. However, to be eligible a player must have a hearing loss of 55 decibels (dBs) or greater in the better ear over an average of 500/1000/2000 Hertz.

Participants can be either orally oriented or sign language users.

Tennis players looking to qualify can e-mail karlpatreddy@gmail.com and HowardGorrell@aol.com.

For more information, go to

http://bit.ly/2cNXKKW.

For information about USA Deaf Sports Federation, visit

www.usdeafsports.org. For information about the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf and the Deaflympics, visit

www.deaflympics.com.

Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Best Buddies International, a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is excited to announce the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida on Saturday, March 11 at Museum Park in Miami.

The Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida is the latest life-changing movement. Since 2009, more than 55,000 participants have walked in more than 26 states and three countries, raising more than $5 million for Best Buddies International.

“Our Friendship Walks are one of Best Buddies' most celebrated events, bringing communities together where they can experience our mission in action and engage with our program participants,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. “It is so inspirational to see so much enthusiasm for the Best Buddies mission in South Florida. The participants significantly impact the lives of those with disabilities, and the employer partners in this community have empowered these individuals, and are actively making not just South Florida, but the world, a more inclusive place.”

The event will bring together some of South Florida’s most notable residents and celebrity supporters. Among those expected to attend this year includes Pop-Artist Romero Britto; Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; WSVN Anchor Craig Stevens, who will MC the walk, Miss Teen Florida and Miss Florida; and many more.

Best Buddies South Florida is proud to have 3,000 (and counting) participants lacing up their shoes to walk for inclusion, all working towards surpassing 2016’s fundraising goal. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk commences at 10 a.m. at Museum Park in Downtown Miami, 1075 Biscayne Boulevard. Following the walk, please join Best Buddies for a day of fun, family, fitness, and friendship.

This year will also feature the inaugural Battle of the Firms Challenge. Several local law firms, including Holland & Knight, Greenberg Traurig, Carlton Fields, and Kirwan Spellacy & Danner, PA., among others, are participating. Thanks to their support, the inaugural Battle of the Firms Challenge is set to become one of the top outreach and fundraising initiatives for this Walk.

During the event, Best Buddies International will recognize supporter Jan Risi as its 2017 honoree with the Spirit of Friendship Award for her many contributions to Best Buddies. She has employed several Best Buddies Jobs participants at Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), and has the largest walk team in the United States. By employing individuals with IDD, Mrs. Risi has proven herself to be a progressive leader in the movement to create a more inclusive work force here in South Florida.

Those interested in volunteering or participating in the Friendship Walk are encouraged to register on the Friendship Walk website:bestbuddiesfriendshipwalk.org/SouthFlorida. Participants can create or join a team to raise awareness and funds with family, friends, and co-workers.

Proceeds from the Friendship Walk are fundamental in supporting state programs that provide one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development. These programs can be found in all 50 states and will create promising opportunities for more than 350,000 people this year.

Walk for inclusion. Walk for friendship. Walk for a better South Florida.

This year’s Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida sponsors include: Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Royal Media Partners, Starwood Property Trust, Holland & Knight, MasterCard, Celebrity Cruises, GrayRobinson, Turnberry Associates, Inktel, Value Store It, Pension Services Inc., City of Hialeah, Willis Towers Watson, TUUCI, FedEx, and Nordstrom.

ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL:

Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 2,100 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide.

Today, Best Buddies’ eight formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in over 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 1 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships.

For information, visit www.bestbuddies.org, facebook.com/bestbuddies or twitter.com/bestbuddies.

For information about the Walk and sponsorship opportunities, contact Joshua Tessier 305-375-2233, ext. 211 or JoshuaTessier@bestbuddies.org.

Kendall Hammocks flag football

The Kendall Hammocks NFL Flag Football program announces the registrations dates and times for the upcoming 2017 NFL Flag Football season.

Registrations are open to boys and girls, age 5-16. Cutoff date is July 1. Copy of birth certificate is required for age verification during the registration process.

Season will include 12 regular season games, two exhibition games and single elimination playoffs. All registrations, practices and games are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave., Miami, 33186.

Registrations Dates:

March registration fee: $140.

March 4 - Saturday (11 a.m.-3 p.m.); March 10 - Friday (6:30-8:30 p.m.); March 18 - Saturday (11 a.m.- 3 p.m.); Mar 25th - Saturday (11 a.m.- 3 p.m.).

New player tryouts and draft will be 1-6 p.m. April 2.

Registration fee includes: NFL Team Reversible Jersey, NFL flag belts, secondary Insurance, referee cost, participation awards, trophies for division winners/MVPs.

Discounted rates offered for coaches. All coaches require a USA football registration and a national background check.

For information or if interested in coaching, email khnflflagfootball@aol.com

Visit www.khwarriors.org

The NFL Flag football program is under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks and is an all volunteer organization, serving the community in youth sports for more than 27 years.

DRI Walk for Diabetes

Students of all ages from South Florida schools and colleges are encouraged to lead a healthier life by running the DRIHOPE4ACURE 5k/10k/Kids Super Hero Fun Run at the 7th annual DRI Walk for Diabetes & Family Fun Day, presented by Walgreens, on March 4 at Marlins Park. The event benefits the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The first 1,000 students to use the promo code GORUNMIAMI at registration by Feb. 28 will have their fee waived. Event organizers hope to give local students a chance to get active through an effort called Get Moving Miami-Dade, while supporting research for a cure for diabetes. All runners will receive participation medals, and there will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd place awards in 26 categories, courtesy of MultiRace – which is setting up the chipped and professionally timed race.

Immediately following the run, participants are encouraged to join in the DRI Walk, which will occur inside the home of the Miami Marlins. It is also free to attend, along with other fun activities including face painting, giveaways, live entertainment from the Hip Hop Kidz dance group and Magic City Jedi, a children’s fun-zone, health booths, a raffle to win Marlins game tickets, food and more.

This cornerstone, community-driven event is a collaborative effort between the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and Walgreens, who have partnered for seven consecutive years and together have raised more than $1.7 million for the cure-focused work of the DRI.

Students can use the promo code GORUNMIAMI to register online at www.WalgreensWalkDRI.org. On the day of the event, registration begins at 6 a.m. The run starts at 8 a.m., and the Kids Fun Run is at 8:40 a.m. The DRI Walk kicks off at 9 a.m. while the family fun activities continue through Noon. For more information, call 800-321-3437.

About the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and Foundation:

The mission of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now. The Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leads the world in cure-focused research.

As the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to develop a biological cure by restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks. Researchers have already shown that transplanted islet cells allow patients to live without the need for insulin therapy.

Some study participants have maintained insulin independence for more than 10 years. The DRI is now building upon these promising outcomes by developing a DRI BioHub, a bioengineered “mini organ” that mimics the native pancreas. While various BioHub platforms are being tested in preclinical and clinical studies, the DRI is also developing strategies to eliminate the need for anti-rejection drugs and reset the immune system to block autoimmunity.

For more information, visit DiabetesResearch.org, call 800-321-3437 or Tweet @Diabetes_DRI.

Soccer clinic

Barry University men’s soccer hosts an ID Clinic that will provide elite male, high school and club soccer players the opportunity to display their talents for college coaches from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and JUCO schools.

The event is from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25 and Saturday, May 13 at Buccaneer Field at Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Ave. in Miami Shores.

For information contact Barry University men’s soccer assistant coach Joao Garcia jgarcia@barry.edu or call 305-899-3135.

UFC GYM Kendall

UFC GYM announced that following the overwhelming success of its 2016 12-Week Body Transformation Challenge, the brand recently launched its next iteration, expanding to 16 signature gym locations throughout the United States, including Kendall in Miami-Dade County.

“Whether your objective is to train with the goal of competing on stage or just living an overall healthier lifestyle, this program is designed to accomplish both,” UFC GYM President Adam Sedlack said. “We experienced some amazing transformations at our Corona and Torrance locations and we’re excited to expand this one in a lifetime challenge to members at all of our signature gyms.”

Inspired by four-time IFBB Figure Olympia Champion Nicole Wilkins, this program consists of one-on-one personal training sessions, tailored nutritional and supplementation plans, educational seminars and group workouts. Enrollment cost is $199 ($1,200 value) for UFC GYM members and $298.99 for non-members, which includes the challenge fee and a 12 week UFC GYM membership. Also, UFC GYM has agreed to pay the participant’s individual entry fee for those that want to compete on stage.

A grand prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the member who wins the “overall weight-loss” portion of the challenge, while both a male and female winner of the “overall muscle gain” portion will each win $1,000. Additional awards and prizes will be awarded at each participating location.

Contact UFC GYM - Kendall

8851 SW 107th Ave., Miami, 33176.

Phone: 305-680-5990

Contact: General Manager Jason Figorski; jason.figorski@ufcgym.com

https://ufcgym.com/kendall

Those who register for the Challenge are encouraged to stay connected at

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ufcgymtransformationteam/

Since debuting in 2009, UFC GYM has opened more than 135 locations throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, South America and the United Arab Emirates. The fitness franchise has continued to grow at a rapid pace with more than 50 locations opening in the past two years and more than 50 gyms expected to open in the next year.

For more information about UFC GYM, visit UFC GYM.com, or follow on Facebook.com/UFCgym, Twitter or Instagram: @UFCGYM. Subscribe on YouTube at UFCGYM.

Skateboard Supercross

The Michael-Ann Russell JCC reported the first Skateboard Supercross Academy in the country at its facility in North Miami Beach.

The academy is a place to go after-school for a 40-minute lesson in a group setting with friends.

Students participate once or twice a week to take a lesson and may return on Sundays for Race Day.

Race Day provides some extra practice while learning the more competitive side of skateboarding. Learning to race on the pumptracks is a necessary skill, as competition helps to stimulate the sport.

Many young riders want more time on the pumptracks to be ready for the end of the semester Head to Head Races. That event is the grand finale of the semester curriculum, and it is the showcase for parents, family and friends.

The Head to Head Race brackets system determines who is the fastest racer to date and logs their time. Basically, two riders are paired to race and whoever wins goes against the winner of the other head to head race, until the remaining two compete in the finals.

Option #1 - Curriculum Based Learning

Monday: 15 classes (Member $375, Non-Member $565)

Tuesday: 16 classes (Member $400, Non-Member $600)

Wednesday: 19 classes (Member $475, Non-Member $715)

Thursday: 20 classes (Member $500, Non-Member $750)

Sunday: 17 classes (Member $425, Non-Member $640)

Option #2 - Race Packs (Open Ride Sessions)

(Reservations required. Bring a bicycle, scooter or inline skates)

One Class: Member $30, Non-Member $45, Curriculum Special! $15

10 Pack: Member $250, Non-Member $375, Curriculum Special! $125

20 Pack: Member $475, Non-Member $710, Curriculum Special! $240

Call 305-932-4200, ext. 145/146 to register.

For questions, text or call 786-529-8187.

Orange Bowl Leadership Academy

The Orange Bowl Committee launched the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, designed to engage and inspire middle school youth to maximize their potential to become future successful community leaders through access and exposure to career development, personal leadership and life skills.

Previously, the Orange Bowl conducted a pilot program that has now become the basis for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, with classes of approximately 20 sixth-graders from both Bair Middle School in Sunrise and North Miami Middle School. Those students will continue as seventh-graders this year with a new curriculum, and two new schools will be added with sixth-graders at both Sunrise Middle School in Fort Lauderdale and Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School in Miami.

The design of the program is eventually to have students follow a three-year curriculum through middle school and expand to other schools in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

“Our vision is to nurture and cultivate the next generation of South Florida community and business leaders,” said Judge Michael Chavies, president and chair of the Orange Bowl Committee.

Marlon A. Hill Esq, chair of the of the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy committee, added: “The Orange Bowl Leadership Academy will provide South Florida youth the opportunity to dream and develop a plan to achieve those dreams, to set and achieve personal goals and objectives, and to understand their options in life for success at home, their careers and in the community.”

From October through May, students in the program meet twice a month after school with teachers and mentors, who are Orange Bowl Committee members. The curriculum is specifically designed toward fostering character development and responsibility geared to elevating individual empowerment, efficacy and self-esteem.

The students are also exposed to guest speakers, many of whom are Orange Bowl Committee members, and occasional field trips for behind-the-scenes tours of locations such as the Southern District Court of Florida. These sessions are designed to inspire and unleash individual youth potential and leadership, while also creating career development awareness, knowledge and opportunities.

Support for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy is being provided by the College Football Playoff Foundation, whose philanthropic initiatives are directed toward education generally and more specifically teachers, through its Extra Yard for Teachers program.

The Orange Bowl Leadership Academy receives additional support from sponsors Bank of America, Comcast, Deloitte and Florida Blue.

The curriculum for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy was created by the Pacific Institute specifically for the Orange Bowl Committee.

Visit www.orangebowl.org.

MaxPreps Top Athletes

Each month of the school year, MaxPreps will name a Male and Female Athlete of the Month, culminating with the Male and Female Athletes of the Year in June. The program is presented by the United States Marines Corps.

“The United States Marine Corps, through the MaxPreps High School Athlete of the Month program, is committed to recognizing students that embody the fighting spirit which enables them to win battles and overcome challenges they face, both on and off the field,” said Captain Sean Pangia. “We’re proud to partner with MaxPreps in this powerful program showcasing student athletes that have a positive influence in their community.”

The program has received more than 7,700 nominations and counting for the year so far. To nominate an athlete, click:

www.maxpreps.com/marines.

Orange Bowl Showcase

The Orange Bowl Committee will host the inaugural Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase, a free one day event in association with the National Football Foundation and its local chapters. It will bring together academically qualified high school seniors from Florida and football coaches from NCAA Division II, III and NAIA programs across the country.

The Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase will provide an unprecedented opportunity for young student-athletes to use their athletic and academic skills to earn collegiate scholarships, and ultimately a college degree.

The Showcase will occur 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 25 at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. All NCAA Division II, III, and NAIA athletic directors and head football coaches have been invited to attend the Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase. Student-athletes eligible for participation must be graduating high school seniors who have not accepted a scholarship offer from a NCAA Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision) program. In addition, they must meet one of the three following academic qualifications:

· Earn a 2.3 GPA or higher in 16 Core Courses (please visit www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/core-courses for a description of NCAA Eligible Core Courses)

· Earn an SAT score of 820 (math and verbal only) or higher on the old format (SAT exams taken prior to March 2016)

· Earn an ACT sum score of 68 or higher

“Everyone knows Florida is a hotbed of football talent for Division I players, but there are hundreds of academically qualified student-athletes beyond Division I signees who are excellent football players and looking to continue both their academic and athletic careers,” said Judge Michael B. Chavies, president and chair of the Orange Bowl Committee. “The Orange Bowl is excited to provide this opportunity for student-athletes so that coaches from around the country, who may have limited recruiting budgets, can evaluate these football players all in one location.”

The Showcase will consist of a series of tests and drills to best display each player’s various talents at their respective position. The program will allow ample time for coaches to view student-athletes in drills and talk to them individually about their respective football programs. Staffs from university admissions and financial aid departments are also being encouraged to attend the Showcase.

Following the day’s activities, players and university representatives will meet to discuss scholarship opportunities for the participating student-athletes. The Orange Bowl is providing lodging for the first 50 colleges to register, in addition to meals for all coaches and administrators.

The Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase is the third Showcase being conducted nationally in association with the NFF. The original showcase was launched eight years ago behind the leadership of former Milby High School coach Phil Camp of the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter, and it was later followed by the showcase led by College Football Hall of Fame and former UCLA coach Terry Donahue of the NFF Newport Beach Chapter in Los Angeles.

“We are extremely excited that the Orange Bowl is staging a High School Showcase in South Florida, and I specifically want to thank Bob Epling, who serves on the NFF Board and is a past president of the Orange Bowl Committee, as well as Orange Bowl CEO Eric Poms for their leadership in making this happen,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The High School Showcases are an extremely powerful way for student-athletes to pursue their dream of attending college, and they result in millions of dollars in academic and participation scholarships each year. I had the privilege to serve as the Executive Director of the Orange Bowl from 1987 to 1993, and I know that the Showcase will make a real difference for high school players in South Florida. It’s really great that this is happening.”

The Showcase is a further commitment by Orange Bowl to youth sports, one of the four pillars of its community outreach, which also includes fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts. For more than 80 years, the Orange Bowl has been one of South Florida’s leading civic organizations, promoting championship sporting events, related premier entertainment and other year-round activities to inspire youth, engage our community and enhance the South Florida economy.

For more information about the Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase and to register, visit

community.orangebowl.org/highschoolfootballshowcase/.

About the Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl is a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl community outreach efforts are comprised of four pillars: youth sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts.

The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, 2016. For more information on the 2016-17 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to www.orangebowl.org. Follow Orange Bowl: @OrangeBowl, Facebook and Instagram.

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame

Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people.

With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include FootballMatters.org, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at

www.footballfoundation.org.

Miami Dolphins/Bank United

Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry and BankUnited, a proud corporate partner of the Miami Dolphins, are giving full-time Florida students, age 13-18, a chance to kick-start their own personal savings with a $1,000 grand prize for submitting the winning essay in the 4 Downs for Finance financial literacy contest, open now.

Full-time Florida high school students are encouraged to register online at

www.4downsforfinance.com now through Dec. 19 to access age-appropriate money tips throughout the football season, and submit an essay on a financial literacy topic. Everyone who enters will have a chance to win a football autographed by Landry and have his or her name read live on the radio during a game broadcast. One student will win a $1,000 cash prize and a visit with Landry.

“Together with Jarvis and the Miami Dolphins, it is our goal to inspire young people to take an interest in learning about finances early on,” said BankUnited President, Florida Region Thomas M. Cornish. “At an age when many students are beginning to earn their first paychecks, 4 Downs for Finance teaches them the importance of getting a head start on learning about money.”

For more money tips or to register for 4 Downs for Finance visit

www.4downsforfinance.com.

Backgammon

The Miami Backgammon Club plays 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at The 19th Hole Bar & Grill, Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables, 33134.

The Miami Backgammon Club is a friendly group of South Florida Backgammon players. Players of all levels welcome. No membership fees.

Tournaments start promptly at 7 p.m.

Free live play. Tournament entry fee $10.

Contact Leo at 305-669-5260 or Leo@MiamiBackgammon.com.

www.MiamiBackgammon.com.

Miracle League Ballpark

The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade in partnership with the Miracle League of Miami-Dade County (MLOMD) and the Marlins Foundation are making way to bring a new Miracle League ballpark complex to Miami-Dade County.

The new development broke ground at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St., Miami. It will be the first ballpark of its kind for the county -- specifically designed for use by youth with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The facility will consist of an outdoor ballpark complex with specialized rubber fields, dugouts, a playground, a concession building, restrooms, and “quiet rooms” for parents and children. The entire site, including recessed drop-off and pick-up areas will be 100 percent accessible with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Funding for this project will be provided by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, together with the Marlins Foundation.

“I want to thank the Miracle League of Miami-Dade and the Marlins Foundation for coming together to expand athletic opportunities for our community’s children with disabilities,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “This new ballpark will give even more children and families in Miami-Dade County a place to enjoy America’s favorite pastime. I look forward to seeing this project come to life and watching our youngest residents play ball.”

Miracle League of Miami-Dade Co-Chairman Ray Rocha said: “There are over 276 specialized Miracle League parks across the nation and in Puerto Rico. This field at Tamiami Park would never have been possible without the unwavering support from the Miami Marlins organization along with the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. This first of its kind field in Miami-Dade County will provide the over 69,000 special needs children and young adults residing in our area, a safe and obstacle free environment to participate in America's favorite pass time. Every child deserves a chance to play baseball.”

Alfredo Mesa, Executive Director of the Marlins Foundation, added: “The Marlins Foundation proudly supports our charity sponsor the Miracle League of Miami-Dade in building this one-of-a-kind all-inclusive ballpark complex. The funds we have raised together with the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade are aligned with the mission of bettering the lives of our youth through recreational sports like baseball.”

Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys said: “Miami-Dade Parks has long been committed to providing accessible sports and recreation opportunities for children and young adults with disabilities. A ballpark like this will further encourage them to get outdoors and be active.”

MLOMD was founded in 2010 by Sturge and his partner Keith Reilly in 2010, marking it as the county’s first Miracle League and the 236th member joining the nationwide initiative that enables children with disabilities, such as Autism, Down syndrome, Cancer and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), to play the game of baseball and be part of a team.

In 2012, the MLOMD approached the County with plans for constructing a custom-designed accessible ballpark at a Miami-Dade Parks facility. Tamiami Park was selected for as the ballpark site because of its central location, accessibility and large youth baseball program.

To date, the League has been busy planning, preparing and fund-raising on behalf of the MLOMD ballpark development plan. A rendering of the ballpark and more information can be found at the MLOMD website.

For directions to Tamiami Park visit the web page or call 786-315-5295.

Miami-Dade Parks is a world-class parks system supported by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness, and Conservation and Stewardship.

Florida Panthers Learn to Play

The Florida Panthers in conjunction with the NHL, NHLPA and USA Hockey will be hosting “Florida Panthers Learn To Play” for boys and girls, age 4-8, who are new, first time ice hockey participants who have never registered with USA Hockey.

The program was developed in an effort to reduce cost barriers to ice hockey participation by providing free equipment. The Learn To Play program primary goal is to create the next generation of hockey players and fans who will remain engaged with the game throughout the rest of their lives.

Cost of entry is $100. Every participant will receive six weeks of on-ice training with Florida Panthers Alumni and USA Hockey Certified Coaches, as well as free registration into USA Hockey for the 2016-17 season. Each participant will also be custom fitted for a full set of brand new Florida Panthers branded CCM hockey equipment, including skates that they will use during the program and keep at the conclusion of the six weeks.

Finally, each participant will receive a voucher for two free tickets to a select Florida Panthers weekend home game with the opportunity to purchase additional tickets at a discounted rate.

The Florida Panthers Learn To Play curriculum is designed in conjunction with USA Hockey’s “Gold Standard” which utilizes an age appropriate Long Term Athlete Development structure known as the American Development Model. This model ensures that the program structure is both fun AND effective.

Visit https://learntoplay.nhl.com/panthers

Ali Boxing Center

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Javier D. Souto and the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department celebrated the renaming of Tropical Park’s Boxing Center to the “Muhammad Ali Boxing Center” at Tropical Park Boxing Center, 7900 SW 40 St., Miami.

“Back in September 2015, the Board of County Commissioners adopted my resolution for the Tropical Park Boxing Center to be named after the great Muhammad Ali, since I was privileged to have met the man in person and behold his many boxing victories,” said Commissioner Souto. “He was bigger than life and an inspiration to all. His memory will live on at this center as it grooms future generations of boxers.”

In honor of Ali – the late three-time heavyweight boxing champ - dignitaries joined members of the local boxing community.

Ali, born Cassius Clay, died on June 3 at age 74, following a 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Considered one of the greatest boxing legends of all-time, Ali was famous in and out of the ring for his strength, power, speed, stamina, flamboyant personality and global presence.

Warrior Basketball

The Warrior Basketball Pre-Travel Team Program in Miami is intense training for boys and girls, age 8-15, to prepare athletes for a travel team level.

The athletes will train two times a week in a two-hour practice. To gain experience, scrimmages will be set up, and tournament like situations will slowly be introduced to the team.

Practice days are Wednesdays, Fridays and/or Sundays. Kids will receive a Warrior basketball jersey and shorts.

Call 305-777-7077.

Gifts in Golf

PGA Certified Pro Philip Argianas, program director of GIG-Gifts In Golf, is proud to bring his expertise to special people with special needs to Coral Gables.

GIG programing -- like Golfing with Autism and Kids Swing Into Golf -- enrich the quality of life for families in the community.

Coach Phil said in a release: “Our fun programing impacts kids by teaching them life skills while providing physical and mental training through learning the game of golf.”

For information about registration including schedules and release forms, go to GIG’s website

http://giftsingolf.org/schedules-and-forms/

To volunteer or for any other questions on the Autism and Down syndrome golf programs, call Coach Phil at 888-909-5709, check the website http://www.giftsingolf.org and Facebook page for updates.

GIG was founded in 2009 and has been serving several communities in Miami-Dade County. The organization provides fun instruction and mentoring while empowering special people with special needs. Integrating families and community, it provides all the benefits that golfing delivers with a focus on a person’s ability.

Heads Up Football

USA Football’s Heads Up Football program for high schools and youth organizations will include sudden cardiac arrest protocols andHeads Up Blocking fundamentals.

Both topics are now included in USA Football’s Level 1 coaching education course and its high school certification course.

USA Football is the national governing body of the sport and educates more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the United States.

USA Football’s Heads Up Football program is supported by more than two dozen medical and football partners.

“Coaches should be prepared to respond to a life-threatening emergency if needed,” said Dr. Jonathan Drezner, past president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and a member of USA Football’s Medical Advisory Committee.

“With prompt recognition, early CPR and use of an AED, sudden cardiac arrest is largely a survivable event if treated quickly. USA Football is committed to the safety of young athletes, and I am proud that a sudden cardiac arrest training module is being added to the Heads Up Football program. The module provides coaches the information they need to be prepared for sudden cardiac arrest.”

“Blocking is one of football’s basic skills that every player needs to be taught,” said Jeff Saturday, a former NFL All-Pro center and ESPN analyst. Saturday is a member of USA Football’s Football Advisory Committee.

“USA Football’s Heads Up Blocking technique helps coaches teach this fundamental – properly engaging with a defender, driving with the legs and maintaining the correct body position for effective and safer play. This is how blocking should be taught.”

Heads Up Football is a comprehensive collection of resources and medically approved protocols to establish important standards rooted in education to change behavior for the better.

In addition to sudden cardiac arrest and Heads Up Blocking, the program covers concussion awareness and recognition, heat and hydration protocols, proper tackling fundamentals and equipment fitting. More than 5,500 youth leagues and 750 high schools in 2014 participated in the program this past fall, benefiting nearly 1-million players.

Follow USA Football at www.facebook.com/usafootball

or on Twitter @USAFootball

NFL Football Matters

The National Football Foundation announced the launch of FootballMatters.org, a powerful new addition to the organization’s campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it.

“Football makes a positive impact on so many levels, and we realized that we needed a centralized resource for capturing and subsequently promoting all the great football stories out there,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “FootballMatters.org provides us a potent platform for addressing that void and delivering compelling content directly to audiences who can help us amplify our messages about the value of football in producing leaders and creating educational opportunities.”

NFF Chairman Archie Manning added: “It’s just gratifying to be part of something that does so much good for our young people. The stories are out there, including the thousands of young kids who could not have gone to college but got some aid because of football, and their lives have been changed for the better. FootballMatters.org will enable us to directly capture those stories and inspire the next generation to further their educations.”

The NFF has linked with Arkleus Broadcasting, a Dallas-based full-service media company, to create the platform, which also encompasses a strong social media component to gain traction for the campaign.

“Arkleus is honored and thrilled to be chosen by such a prestigious American institution as the NFF to build and market an exciting new sports media property,” said Arkleus Broadcasting President Joe Shults. “We are passionately committed to helping the NFF in every way to protect, enhance, and ensure the future of football for generations to come.”

The site focuses on stories, videos, and franchises highlighting the very best in high school and college football, such as: Football Moms, Special Teams, Hook & Corporate Ladder, Man-to-Man, the Quote of the Day and many more. The site will also be the home to exclusive profiles of Campbell Trophy finalists, Leadership Award Winners, Courage Award Winners and all the honors associated with the NFF.

“We are really excited about the Football Matters initiative,” said Hatchell. “I want to thank everybody at Arkleus for their passion for the project. They have done a marvelous job of getting it up and running in a short amount of time, and we have already received great feedback.”

The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.

You can learn more about the site and watch a video featuring NFF Chairman Archie Manning and NFF Board Members Jack Ford, Archie Griffin, Kevin Plank and Rod West by clicking here.

Visit www.footballfoundation.org.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NFFNetwork

Twitter https://twitter.com/NFFNetwork

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/NFFOnDemand

Footgolf

The international sport Footgolf is being introduced to the South Miami-Dade community at Killian Greens Golf Club, 9980 SW 104th St.

Footgolf (18 holes) can be played in two hours and is a great source of exercise for those who enjoy kicking a soccer ball. Times are available everyday of the week after 4:30 p.m. to players of all skill levels, families and groups. Balls are available for rent for $5 to those who do not already own one.

Killian Greens is an accredited Footgolf course with the American Footgolf League. Call 305-271-0917.

Tennis

USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation announced a landmark three-way agreement with Special Olympics Florida to provide more tennis playing opportunities to athletes in Florida.

The formal agreement builds on the existing support that USTA Florida and its charitable arm have provided to local Special Olympics programs by offering free 10 and Under Tennis workshops, grants and other resources to providers that offer tennis programs to Special Olympics athletes.

Likewise, Special Olympics Florida will encourage their athletes to participate in USTA Florida programs and events.

To get a program started, Special Olympics coaches may apply for a USTA Florida Section Foundation equipment grant for adaptive tennis equipment and other program needs by contacting Jessica Flynn at Special Olympics Florida.

For additional training opportunities and training resources, contact Linda Curtis at the USTA Florida Section Foundation at www.USTAFloridaFoundation.com.

Tennis classes, programs

Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.

Physically Challenged

Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).

Submit info to Sports Scene

Sports Scene spotlights news and notes from youth sports activities in your neighborhood. The aim is to feature game notes and the accomplishments of athletes from Miami-Dade County.

We rely on the directors and coaches of each league, as well as community members, parents and schools to submit information. We accept photos but ask that everyone pictured be identified with a first and last name and the name of the team or park they represent.

Email sportsscene@MiamiHerald.com.

Youth sports online

For more area sports photos, go to

www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth/miami-dade

YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

www.youtube.com/user/jvarsallone/videos

Family friendly pro wrestling in Miami

World Wrestling Entertainment’s NXT makes its third visit to Miami on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Fieldhouse at the Watsco Center (formerly Bank United Center) at the the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

Bell time is 7:30 p.m.

See some of the newer faces on the NXT roster as well as progressing talent who are continuing to build a hot NXT brand and working toward joining the ranks of the main roster in WWE. That includes Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Asuka, #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa), Authors of Pain (Rezar and Akam) and more.

Tickets are on sale online and at the Watsco Center box office.

Visit NXTTickets.com.

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0D005224DB339A6B

NXTUCFOrlandoMiamiShowInfo

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