Youth Sports

Belen crew wins gold again at San Diego Classic

The Belen Jesuit School varsity crew won gold for the second consecutive year in Lightweight 8+ at the San Diego Crew Classic. The Wolverines are the No.1 ranked lightweight program in the country, making them a favorite at the Youth National Championships in June. The champs are from left, Assistant Coach Rolando Gamon, Jonathan Menendez, Carlos Marin, Jorge Garcia-Sarraff, Daniel Giacosa, Santiago Ugas, Rodrigo Marin, Alejandro Pacios, Ivan Cabrera, Hunter Prindle and Head Coach Yunian Cabrera.
The Belen Jesuit School varsity crew won gold for the second consecutive year in Lightweight 8+ at the San Diego Crew Classic. The Wolverines are the No.1 ranked lightweight program in the country, making them a favorite at the Youth National Championships in June. The champs are from left, Assistant Coach Rolando Gamon, Jonathan Menendez, Carlos Marin, Jorge Garcia-Sarraff, Daniel Giacosa, Santiago Ugas, Rodrigo Marin, Alejandro Pacios, Ivan Cabrera, Hunter Prindle and Head Coach Yunian Cabrera.

The Belen Jesuit School varsity crew won gold for the second consecutive year in Lightweight 8+ at the San Diego Crew Classic.

Belen holds the distinction of being the only scholastic program to win at this level at that prestigious regatta. The Wolverines won in open water by a 10-second margin.

They are the No.1 ranked lightweight program in the country, making them a favorite at the Youth National Championships in June.

The champs are Assistant Coach Rolando Gamon, Jonathan Menendez, Carlos Marin, Jorge Garcia-Sarraff, Daniel Giacosa, Santiago Ugas, Rodrigo Marin, Alejandro Pacios, Ivan Cabrera, Hunter Prindle and Head Coach Yunian Cabrera.

South Beach Triathlon

Santiago Ascenco has been competing in triathlons for 23 years, tackling more than 400 of them all over the world. But nothing inspires the 38-year-old Brazilian more than the 400 triathletes he coaches back home in Goiania, the capital of the Brazilian state of Goiás.

Those athletes of different levels of talent all made their way to the forefront of Ascenco's mind Sunday morning as he began the run portion of the South Beach Triathlon and stared down a 20-second gap between himself and the lead in the International Division of the race.

“My team likes to know that their coach is still motivated,” Ascenco said. “I have to win. They pay attention to that stuff. That inspires me to keep pushing and be an example for those athletes.”

Ascenco accomplished his mission of reaching the front about a mile into the six-mile final stage and cruised home to victory over Kyle Hooker of Jacksonville, who was 1:10 behind Ascenco's winning time of 1:54:30.

Gaby Bunten, who flew in from St. Paul, Minnesota for the South Beach experience, won the women's International competition in 2:16:40. Andreas Moraitis of Winter Park won the men's Classic Wave in 1:32:38 while Croatian Daria Pletikapa captured the women's Classic championship in 1:45:51.

The 2017 South Beach Triathlon, part of the eight-race nationwide Life Time Tri Series, had a field of 2,300 athletes from 30 states and 31 countries. The race served as a fundraiser for Save The Children, the leading International children's relief organization which works in 120 countries including the United States, as well as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The charities were represented by a line-up of entertainment and sports celebrities including Hollywood stars Chace Crawford, Colin Egglesfield, Geoff Stults, Parker Young, Steven McQueen and Bryan Greenberg. Indy car driver Tony Kanaan had to pull out of the race due to illness, but stayed on the beach to cheer on the other athletes.

The participants enjoyed the gorgeous backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and Miami Beach's Art Deco district as they navigated through swimming, biking and running challenges on a picture-perfect morning. The International wave competitors started with a .93 mile ocean swim followed by a 24.25-mile bike ride across the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle Causeways back and forth into Miami and the 6.2 mile run through the South Beach Art Deco District. Classic wave competitors raced at slightly shorter distances (.5-mile swim, 20.7-mile bike, 4-mile run).

Ascenco was urged to the finish line at Ocean Drive and 6th Street by Kanaan, a friend and fellow Brazilian.

“It was a pleasure for me to experience this race for the first time,” Ascenco said. “Miami is like a second home for me. I am always here training with friends. I love this place.

“We started really early so the water was calm and we didn't have much wind so we were able to go at a good pace. The humidity slowed us down a little in the run, but it was a nice race. Once I got the lead, I just had to keep my pace.”

The South Beach triathlon was an opportunity for Bunten to visit her coach, Miami resident Leanda Cave, whose Team LC promotes triathlon participation nationwide to female competitors like Bunten.

“This is mostly a male-dominated sport,” Bunten said. “We want to get more females. We are working to make triathlons more affordable and accessible to women at all levels all over the country.”

Bunten didn't come South with any expectations, but was obviously very happy with her result.

“South Beach is fun,” she said. “It is one of the toughest finishes I have ever had trying to run in the sand. It was kind of hard to get a kick. But this is a great course. There is good energy and we had great weather today. No snow, so that was good.”

Moraitis finished exactly a minute faster than New Yorker Tim Henriot in the Men's Classic distance race. Pletikapa, who now lives in Mexico, had an even greater 1:25 winning margin over another New York resident, Aubrey Dreker in the Women's Classic race.

“It was an amazing race today. I was enjoying it so much,” Pletikapa said. “The water was perfectly still for the swimming and I really liked the biking course. I loved how close to the ocean the running course was and how the people supported us.

“This was my first time in South Beach and I will definitely be back next year because I liked it so much. I expected to win. I used to do triathlons as a pro, but now I just do them for fun and to enjoy it. But yeah, I expected to win and I did.”

Top local finishers: International Division: Men: 3. Yunior Rosete, Miami, 1:56:42.7; Daniel Reyes, Hollywood, 2:05:36.2; 11. Gabriel Zimeri, Miami, 2:10:06.6; 13. Hector Santaella, Key Biscayne, 2:11:00.5; 15. Christopher Miller, Boca Raton, 2:12:01.3; 16. Jorge Palma, Miami, 2:12:09.6; 17. Gabriel Sternberg, North Miami Beach, 2:12:12.7; 18. Jason Ramdeen, Boca Raton, 2:12:13.1; 19. Javier Marquez, Miami, 2:12:42.4; 21. Federico Mendoza, Key Biscayne, 2:13.05.9; 23. Rane Roatta, Miami, 2:13:40.4.

Women: 3. Carla Moreno, Hollywood, 2:26:27.1; 6. Emilie Ney, Miami Beach, 2:27:17.6; 7. Danielle Villoch, Miami Beach, 2:29:07.2; 9. Stephanie Irizarry, Hialeah, 2:32:00.3; 11. Miriam Klein, Miami, 2:35:29.6; 13. Jenny Garcia, Hollywood, 2:36:39.6; 14. Jessica Vanderbrook, Boca Raton, 2:37:02.4; 15. Courtney Gannon, Boca Raton, 2:37:40.7; 16. Maria Michelena, Key Biscayne, 2:39:47.1; 20. Rachel Losada, Miami, 2:44:20.1; 21. Diana Carolina Vergara, Miami, 2:44:22.1; 22. Veronica Cangas, Miami, 2:48:01.7; 23. Kathryn Grinstead, Miami, 2:48:49.3; 24. Adriana Martinez, Miami, 2:49:18.1.

Classic Division: Men: 3. Javier Morales, Miami, 1:33:45.5; 5. Yacceri leal, Miami, 1:34:34.1; 9. Jesus Angulo, Miami, 1:37:25.4; 11. Martius Popovich, Hollywood, 1:38:15.2; 13. William Santa Cruz, North Miami Beach, 1:38:51; 14. Luiz Ludovico, Miami, 1:39:45.1; 18. Javier Pineda, Miami, 1:41:58.3; 21. Lincoln Whyte, Fort Lauderdale, 1:42:28.1; 22. Marc Schwartz, Fort Lauderdale, 1:42:38.7; 23. Jasmel Acosta, Miami Beach, 1:42:50.4; 24. Jorge Lopez, Miami Beach, 1:42:54.8; 25. Robert Declercq, Fort Lauderdale, 1:43:00.3.

Women: 3. Ivonne Pedrero, Miami, 1:50:03.2; 7. Jessica Oreamuno, Miami, 1:54:52.3; 8. Gabriela Escalona, Miami, 1:55:17.2; 9. Megan Broderick, Fort Lauderdale, 1:55:25.7; 12. Catalina Voit, Boca Raton, 1:57:08; 14. Joana Ribeiro, Miami, 1:58:58.5; 17. Janna Itriago, Weston, 2:00:06.4; 19. Luisanna Rodriguez, Fort Lauderdale, 2:00:50.6; 20. Vaughn Edelson, Miami, 2:01:06.8; 21. Elizabeth Orlin, Miami, 2:02:55.9; 22. Karen Williams, Homestead, 2:03:39.8; 23. Jenniver Bova, Dania, 2:03:59.1; 25. Jacqueline Shellow, Hollywood, 2:05:15.3.

Nautilus golf

The Nautilus Middle School golf team opened its season with a win over Hialeah Gardens at Country Club of Miami, and the following week the Sharks were second of 18 teams with 203 at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Tournament.

Leading the team at the Fair tournament with 43 was Max Gotlin, who was fourth of 59 golfers. Harrison Delisle also fared well with 48 to place 10th. Rahul Bhatia and Jared Rogoff also performed well under pressure to help the Sharks nab the runner-up trophy.

Gulliver Prep sports

Gulliver Prep student athletes signed to play sports in college.

They are: crew members Alexandra Duffy (Georgetown University) and Mason Lykes (MIT/Columbia); football player Pedro Jimenez (Ave Marie University); lacrosse players Lucas Rego (College of Wooster-DIII) and Francisco Tonarely (Bard College-DIII); sailing member Jack Johansson (College of Charleston); soccer player Pedro Goldberg (New York University); softball players Tayler Heyser (Agnes Scott College) and Mayte Lezcano (Nova Southeastern University); swimmers Pablo Luchau (University of Chicago) and Jalen Watson (Howard University); and tennis players Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico (Emory University) and Andre Libnic (Babson College).

Miami Dolphins Coaches Clinic

The Miami Dolphins concluded their second annual Coaches Clinic at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.

The Miami Dolphins coaching staff teamed with area college coaches to provide four days of training and expertise to high school and youth coaches to better serve their athletes.

The event opened on Monday evening with Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase welcoming the attendees and stressing the importance of football character and player development.

“This four-day Coaches Clinic was a great opportunity for the Dolphins to be actively engaged in all levels of South Florida youth football,” Miami Dolphins Senior Vice President of Communications & Community Affairs Jason Jenkins said. “We are committed to transforming the lives of youth and growing the game of football by providing coaches with additional tools for success for their teams.”

The clinic was free with more than 600 local youth and high school coaches participating. Attendees gained knowledge on position-specific football drills, skill development and better coaching techniques.

Fins Weekend

The Miami Dolphins Foundation will host its 21st annual Fins Weekend on May 19-20 with golf at Miami Beach Golf Club and fishing starting at Rickenbacker Marina.

Proceeds from the event weekend, through the educational pillar of the Miami Dolphins Foundation, will benefit City Year Miami, an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to help keep students on track to graduate.

The festivities feature appearances by Dolphins players, coaches, alumni, and cheerleaders as well as entertainment.

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.

St. Thomas tennis

St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens will host its Fore the Love of Education Golf & Tennis Tournament fundraiser on Friday, April 28 at the Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club in Hallandale Beach.

“Monies from this event go toward student scholarships, as 98 percent of our students receive some level of financial aid,” says Director of Annual Giving DeAnna Arana. “This tournament is the university’s largest fundraising and corporate outreach event with more than 75 prominent companies participating. Last year the tournament netted more than $100,000 for student scholarships.”

The round robin tournament will be followed by a cocktail reception, awards ceremony and silent auction.

The Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club is at 501 Diplomat Parkway in Hallandale Beach.

For more information see the USTA Florida events calendar listing at

www.ustaflorida.com/event/st-thomas-university-2017-fore-love-education-tournament/.

To register online visit www.stu.edu/tournament.

Launch Trampoline Park

Launch Franchising, LLC. is pleased to announce a Launch Trampoline Park will be opening in Doral. The new park will be owned and operated by Jonas P. Roter and scheduled to begin construction later this spring.

Launch Trampoline Park was founded in 2012 by Rhode Island entrepreneur Robert Arnold and retired New England Patriot cornerback and three-time Super Bowl Champion Ty Law. Arnold embarked on the vision for Launch in 2011 after he visited his first trampoline park with his wife and kids. Seeing the combination of family, fun and fitness and using his knack for entrepreneurship, Launch came to life.

The parks provide kids of all ages with endless fun of whether it is bouncing on trampolines, playing dodgeball in mid-air or falling into a massive foam pit. Launch Doral will be available for birthday parties, fundraisers, fitness classes, toddler time, teen nights, private events and more! The park has a full-redemption arcade, Launch Restaurant and private party rooms. Additionally, Launch Trampoline Park has its own mascot – “Joey,” a 7-foot tall green kangaroo mascot – who is in charge of fun at the park, assisting with birthdays and special events.

“The Launch Doral franchisees are excited to bring family fun to the area and are ecstatic to be a part of the Launch team. We can’t wait for the community to enjoy all the fun and action that Launch has to offer,” stated Robert Arnold, president and co-owner of Launch Franchising, LLC.

About Launch Franchising

Ty Law and Robert Arnold are co-owners of Launch Franchising, LLC, with two corporate locations in Warwick, R.I. and Hartford, Conn., and franchise locations along the East Coast. The company is expanding its franchise nationwide and utilizing the strength of positive branding, turn-key operational systems and proven marketing programs as attractive benefits to potential franchisees. For additional information, visit

www.launchtrampolinepark.com.

Hurricanes Jumpers

Hurricane Jumpers are hosting an AAU Jump Rope Qualifying Tournament from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 20 at Miami Springs Recreation, 1401 Westward Dr., in Miami Springs 33166.

This tournament is for anyone interested in jumping rope for fun or serious competition. The event is a qualifier for Junior Olympics, which is in late July in Detroit.

Registration forms, fees and music are due by April 20.

Spectators free admission.

Contact Hurricane Jumpers at moody@hurricanejumpers.com.

Visit www.hurricanejumpers.org.

Miami Gardens sports

The City of Miami Gardens presents new youth sports programs for boys and girls, age 5-17.

Bowling, Soccer, Tennis, Baseball, and Swimming.

Register at City Hall, Parks and Recreation Department, 18605 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens 33056.

For fees and info, call 305-622-8080.

Visit https://apm.activecommunities.com/miamigardens.

MLB Swing for the Fences

Swing for the Fences with MLB Jr. Home Run Derby

Get involved with MLB Jr. Home Run Derby and let the youth in your community show off their hitting power.

Sign up to host a free local competition at JrHRD.com

By hosting this one-day, fun, flexible competition, provide the kids in the area the opportunity to swing all the way to the National Finals during MLB All-Star Week in Miami.

Visit www.JrHRD.com for more information

Also: MLBSwingForFencesInfo

Kendall Little League

Information on Danny Berry Baseball/Kendall Little League programs, go to http://www.dannyberry.com/.

Pets & Putts

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is Sunday, April 30.

If you are looking to add a loveable dog or cat to your home, mark that date for the inaugural “Pets and Putts” pet adoptions and free community event at the Country Club of Miami Golf Course, 6801 Miami Gardens Dr. The event is presented by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Golf Miami-Dade in partnership with Miami-Dade Animal Services and Cobra Puma Golf.

Activities will occur from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Be sure to visit Miami-Dade Animal Services’ HOPE Express mobile pet adoption trailer and get free gifts with every pet adoption. Plus, lots of fun for everyone with: $25 golf rounds all day, lunch specials at The Club, music, a bounce house, balloon artist, giveaways, and vendors. While you’re there, pick up information on Miami-Dade Parks exciting Summer Camps.

For more information, call 305-828-8456 and visit

golfmiamidade.com/petsandputs.

More events, leagues, programs

FC Miami Media Students

FC Miami City, Miami's official soccer team, and Miami Media School’s technology teams, resources, students, media and interest groups will feature collaboration and resource sharing. This will significantly enhance the coverage of soccer and the Premier Development League in Miami while providing students with access to unique sports media facilities.

The partnership is created in an effort to develop open sources for Miami Media School students and provide career experiences that will prepare students for sports media careers. Within six months, the students will learn how to write, produce and call games.

“Our goal at Miami Media School is to build a world-class sports media program” according to Nancy Rodriguez, CEO at Miami Media School. “Students in sports media are as likely to be applying for jobs with college athletic departments, professional franchises or entities like PDL, USL or MLS entities as they are with traditional media outlets, like local television stations and newspapers.”

FC Miami City GM Youri Vaisse said. “Helping to provide real-world opportunities for the many talented students of the Miami Media School is consistent with one of our top priorities. We cannot thank [Miami Media School CEO] Nancy Rodriguez and the Media School enough for helping make this historic and unique partnership possible.”

The opportunities offered to sports journalism students through the partnership will help students adjust to changes in the field. It will help to give students valuable experience in media areas that don’t fall under traditional journalism, and it’s a great fit alongside the wonderful student journalism opportunities already in Miami’s metro.

It will surely strengthen FC Miami City’s reputation as a national center for excellence in sports communication.

About Miami Media School

The Miami Media School is an American Private Institution that instructs students in all areas of the broadcast media industry. It is a comprehensive, hands-on program, where students are trained by broadcast media professionals currently working in the field.

The Media schools possess a unique mix of broadcasting leadership and experience, educational excellence then combines this with industry technology and equipment that effectively replicates what students and graduates will see when they enter the workforce. These tools and methods of training and educating our students solidifies the Media Schools position at the forefront of broadcasting education.

Kendall Hammocks football/cheerleading

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors program announces the registration dates and times in April and May for the 2017 Football & Cheerleading season.

Kendall Hammocks is part of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

Tackle season starts Wednesday July 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

TACKLE REGISTRATION INFORMATION:

11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 6, May 13

6:30-8:30 p.m. May 19, May 26

Teams will close once the team roster limit is reached.

TACKLE REGISTRATION FEE: $190

Registration fee includes: rental of helmet, shoulder pads, game uniform, secondary insurance, participation awards, referee cost, county and optimist fees.

Free one day Rookie Camp for all new registered players.

All issued equipment is to be returned at end of season.

WARRIORS CHEERLEADING INFORMATION:

CHEER REGISTRATION FEE: $400

Registration fee break down: $200 initial deposit includes practice T-shirt, shorts, game day socks, hair bow, cheer brief, shoes, secondary Insurance, and participation awards.

The remaining $200 is for three competitions and includes body liner, shoes, socks, warm-up set, cheer bag, uniform rental and all competition fees.

Cheerleading starts on Tuesday, July 11.

CHEERLEADING REGISTRATION DATES:

11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 6, May 13

6:30-8:30 p.m. May 19, May 20

Requirements to play tackle football and cheer for the Kendall Hammocks Warriors.

• 1) Current Color Photo (2x2 face picture-passport size)

• 2) Copy of Birth Certificate

• 3) Current 2017 PHYSICAL- Must be administered from Jan-July 2017-Office stamped

And obtained By your Pediatrician- yellow HRS form, or CVS Minute Clinic- Obtain after you have secured a roster spot.

• 4) Copy of 2017 FINAL Report Card (with the 4 grading periods)

All registrations and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave., Miami.

For added information email Football Commissioner Mike Pintado at khwfootball@aol.com

For Cheerleading email Cheer Commissioner Meylin Castro at cheer.4warriors@aol.com

Visit http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=khwarriors

The Warriors 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 30 years.

Visit www.khwarriors.org

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, 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 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.

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.

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

Send nominations to recognize student athletes at Miami Marlins games

In an effort to recognize deserving South Florida youth baseball and softball players for doing well in school and displaying sportsmanship on the diamond, the two-time champion Miami Marlins have once again partnered with The Miami Herald to co-sponsor the Team Player spotlight on the Sunday Youth Sports pages in the Neighbors section of The Miami Herald in print and online.

Youth league coaches, team representatives, teachers, schools, friends or family members can nominate youth baseball or softball players, who display sportsmanship and good grades or academic improvements. Eligible nominees are from the recreational in-house league, travel league or school league (elementary school or middle school aged) from any season of the year.

Honored players – selected by random drawing – will be invited to a Marlins game where they will receive a certificate of achievement and a Marlins item during a recognition ceremony at Marlins Park.

There are three ceremonies - June 2, July 18, Aug. 15.

To nominate someone, e-mail Miami Herald Youth Sports Editor Jim Varsallone at

jvarsallone@miamiherald.com or call 305-376-3621.

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