Youth Sports

Fertel impresses in swimming, Frye stars in track

Swimmer Kelly Fertel, 19, of Kendall won five gold and two silver medals and set five records at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Swimmer Kelly Fertel, 19, of Kendall won five gold and two silver medals and set five records at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Swimmer Kelly Fertel, 19, of Kendall won five gold and two silver medals while setting five records at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel.

The Maccabiah Games is an Olympic-style event for Jewish athletes from around the world. It is the third largest international competition, behind the Olympics and Pan American Games. This year, with more than 10,000 athletes from 85 countries, the Games was the largest in its history.

Fertel won gold medals in the 400-meter individual medley, 200 individual medley, 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle and 400 medley relay. She took silver in the 200 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay.

Fertel swam two seasons for Coral Reef High School and then two seasons at Gulliver Prep. A High School All-American, she was a five-time state high school champion. A qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016, she is currently a sophomore on the University of Florida swim team.

JCC Maccabi Games

The Alper Jewish Community Center in Miami hosted the JCC Maccabi Games.

The JCC Maccabi Games is a week-long Olympic-style sports competition for teens that began in 1982. The Games featured baseball, basketball, lacrosse, ice hockey, soccer and volleyball.

Each year, three communities host the Games, with one also hosting JCC Maccabi ArtsFest.

The Alper JCC asked for 500 volunteer families to host more than 1,500 kids participting from throughout the world. Kosher homes were especially needed. The hosts housed them, helped feed the kids, provided transportation daily to and from their respective sporting events as well as to the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Games give teens a chance to meet other Jewish youth while participating in sports they love or within an intense immersion in their art.

Community service is also an integral component of the JCC Maccabi Games. In the spirit of Tikum Olam (Repairing the World) and Tzedakah (Deeds of Charity), the athletes take time from the competition to volunteer within the host community.

The project this year under the JCC Cares Project helped underprivileged children in Africa. The athletes made shoes -- from a thick denim material -- which will be sent to Africa by the JCC.

Maccabi Hunter Haifa basketball

Maccabi Hunter Haifa, the 2016-17 Israeli Basketball Super League runner-up, announced they have signed point guard Angel Rodriguez for the 2017-18 season. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Rodriguez, 24, appeared in 24 contests during the 2016-17 season for Cholet Basket in France ProA and averaged 9.9 points while shooting 33.3 percent from three-point range and 86.6 percent from the charity stripe, along with 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 23.1 minutes.

The 5-foot-11 point guard had a prolific collegiate career at Kansas State and the University of Miami. He played 132 career games (65 at Kansas State and 67 at Miami) and averaged 11.1 points, 4.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.4 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game. He spent his first two seasons at Kansas State, tallying 11.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals during his sophomore season (2012-13) in which the team earned BIG-12 Co-Champion. Rodriguez was named to the All-BIG 12 Second Team and BIG-12 All-Defensive team.

The Cupey, Puerto Rico native transferred to the University of Miami his junior season -- returning to Florida where he starred at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Miami.

As a Redshirt Senior at Miami (2015-16), Rodriguez guided his team to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, appearing in 35 games while posting averages of 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.7 steals in 30.1 minutes. In three NCAA Tournament games, Rodriguez averaged 21.7 points, 5.7 assists, 3.0 steals and 3.3 rebounds in 35.3 minutes per game.

“We’ve known Angel for many years, and our plan was to one day bring his talents to Haifa,” Maccabi Hunter Haifa Owner Jeff Rosen said in a release. “We’re thrilled that the day has come as we're adding an ultimate competitor and the true meaning of a leader.”

Maccabi Hunter Haifa head coach Offer Rahimi added: “Angel is a young and energetic point guard with a lot of upside. I believe he'll continue to improve his game in Haifa after his first year of experience in France.”

About Maccabi Haifa

Maccabi Haifa, an Israeli Basketball Super League team, has a long and storied legacy as they were one of the original eight teams to form the Premier League for the 1953-54 season. Under the ownership of American businessman, Jeffrey Rosen, the team earned its first title in franchise history after being crowned the 2012-13 Israeli League champion. The team was purchased by Jeffrey Rosen in July 2007.

For more information about Maccabi Haifa, visit

Runners Express Track

It was a tremendous season for Eddiyah Frye, 14, of the Runners Express Track Club in Miami. The Miami Gardens resident dominated Florida Region 4 in the 100m hurdles, 200m hurdles and the long jump on her way to nationals, where she won gold, silver and bronze.

At the USATF Jr. Olympics in Lawrence, Kan., she placed among the best athletes nationally in the girls’ 13-14 age group. She was first in the 200m hurdles in 27.34 seconds, second in the 100m Hurdles in 14.40 and third in the long jump at 17-11 3 /4.

Eddiyah has been running since age 4. She completed eighth grade at the Young Women’s Preparatory Academy in Miami and will be a freshman at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.

“I am humbly awaiting competing against some of the top high school athletes in Dade and Broward counties,” she said in an email. “I would also like to send a special thanks to my coaches, my father Eddie Frye and Craig Howard. Thanks for getting me through this tough season.”

Kendall Hammocks flag football

The Kendall Hammocks NFL Flag Football Season concluded with team champions and special awards.

U6 Division: MVP: Sadie Madsen (Rams). Champion: Cowboys, coached by Frank Cuesta and Vinny Diaz.

U8 Division: MVP: Chris Whitfield (49ers). Champion: Cowboys, coached by Vinny Diaz and Frank Cuesta.

U10 Division: MVP: Shawn James (Bengals). Champion: Raiders, coached by David Jauregui.

U12 Division: MVP: Ryan Gonzalez (Rams). Recreational Champion: Lions, coached by Howard Euster and Laz Corrales. Pro Champion: Rams, coached by Raul Gonzalez.

U14 Division: MVP: Justin Jarro (Falcons). Champion: Eagles, coached by Diana and John Collins.

Coach of the Year: Pedro Casanova. Rookie Coach of the Year: Jordan Trigoso. Volunteer of the Year: Gypsy Santovenia.

Palmer Trinity football

Palmer Trinity School will host its first football game on its new field on Friday, Sept. 15 when the Falcons play their Homecoming game against the Stallions of Somerset Academy Silver Palms.

Designated as the school’s Main Athletic Track and Field, it will be used by Palmer’s football, soccer, lacrosse, and track & field athletic teams. It will also serve as a space to host special events for the community.

The new athletic field took six months for the planning stages and another six months to build and is one of only three fields in the Miami-Dade area to have an eight-lane running track. In its construction, the field was depressed three feet to create a stadium-like feel by using the land’s topography. This design element highlights the school’s natural surroundings and allows ocean breezes to sweep across Palmer Trinity’s campus.

“We are proud to have this premier field as part of our 55-acre campus,” Patrick Roberts, Head of School, said in a release, “and we look forward to experiencing many future victories and creating fond memories for both the school and the community.”

The existing athletic fields on the school’s North Campus will continue to be used for other athletic games and physical education.

About Palmer Trinity School:

Palmer Trinity School—a coeducational, Episcopal day school—is dedicated to promoting academic excellence that integrates knowledge, compassion, global citizenship, and social responsibility. Providing a supportive environment, Palmer Trinity School serves students from a broad range of socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds in grades 6-12.

For more information about the school, visit

To follow Palmer Trinity School on Facebook, click here.

Hooters Donation

Hooters of South Florida presented a donation of $13,300 to the Miami Dolphins Foundation at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. The donation is part of Hooters’ sponsorship from the recent Fins Weekend Fishing Tournament.

LTP Management Director of Marketing Kristi Quarles and Hooters Girls presented the donation to representatives of the Miami Dolphins Foundation.

“Hooters South Florida has been a wonderful supporter of Fins Weekend for many years, and their commitment to the Fishing Tournament Weigh In not only brings a festive atmosphere to the dock, but leaves a lasting financial impact to support education through City Year Miami,” Miami Dolphins Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Jehn said in a release.

LTP Management, a Franchisee of Hooters of America, owns and operates 16 locations in South Florida.

“LTP Management is thrilled to have a long relationship supporting the Miami Dolphins Foundation and Miami Dolphins Fishing Tournament. Giving back and helping our local community is a priority and very important to us,” said Hooters of South Florida Director of Marketing Kristi Quarles.

For more information about South Florida Hooters and their charitable outreach visit Follow on Twitter @HootersFlorida, Instagram @SouthFLHooters and Facebook

USTA Florida

Miami-Dade North (Arthur Snyder Tennis Center, North Miami Beach) won a state championship at the USTA Florida 18 & Over 3.0/4.0/5.0+ League Sectional Championships at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

The event drew the top 18 & Over USTA League teams from throughout Florida, representing various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations that finished at the top of their local leagues. Teams consisting of two singles and three doubles lines competed in a non-elimination round-robin format, with flight winners advancing into a single-elimination semifinal followed by the final.

Miami-Dade County captured the Men’s 4.0 crown for the fourth consecutive year.

18 & Over Men’s 4.0 Final: Miami-Dade North (Arthur Snyder Tennis Center, North Miami Beach) d. Hillsborough County (Fishhawk Ranch, Lithia) 5-0

No. 1 Singles: Jorge Rodriguez d. David Spohn 6-4, 6-1. No. 2 Singles: Jose Costafreda d. Timothy Plossl 6-2, 6-2. No. 1 Doubles: Javier Castillo/Jorge Rodriguez d. Jose Torres/Greg Goodson 6-4, 4-2 (retired). No. 2 Doubles: Carlos Carmenate/Joel Namad d. Mark Kanarek/Carlos Sanchez 6-2, 6-4. No. 3 Doubles: Cesar Aviles/Ivan Vigo d. Gabriel Mead/Mike Johnson 6-1, 6-4.

Miami-Dade Season Roster: Dean Dworkin (captain), Cesar Aviles, Jose Costafreda, Jorge Rodriguez, Eric Cohen, Alejandro Arraiz, Max Flesher, Javier Castillo, Michel Kulcsar, Alfonso Garcia, Ivan Vigo, Ran Cohen, Gustavo Carbone, Joel Santos, Joel Namad, Carlos Carmenate, Jorge Rodriguez, Julio Zambrano, Luis Monteagudo.

The winning teams will represent the USTA Florida Section at the USTA League National Championships. The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex will host the 18 & Over 4.0 championships on Oct. 13-15.

NTRP levels of play were 3.0/4.0/5.0+. For more information on NTRP levels, go to

USTA Florida Junior Tennis

Miami juniors proved themselves the kings and queens of Junior Team Tennis in the state of Florida for 2017.

The co-ed Miami Tornados and the Miami Thunder were the 14-under and 18-under champions, respectively, at the 2017 USTA Florida Junior Team Tennis Sectional Championships and advanced to represent Florida at the USTA Junior Team Tennis National Championships in September at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

The Miami Tornados finished ahead of the Treasure Bay Swashbucklers in the 14-under-intermediate division, and the Miami Thunder won an all-Miami 18-under-intermediate division final, finishing ahead of the Miami Lightning.

“We achieved because we believed,” Kara Borromeo, who with Lee Pettis captained both Miami winning teams, said in a release. “We trained harder and played smarter. All the players on both of these teams understood that in order to win they needed to play as a team. Our ultimate goals are to win and have fun under the Florida sun.”

The 14-under champion Miami Tornados were captained by Lee Pettis and included players Fronz Emmanuelle, Laranang Bagayas, Andres Reynoso, Jaime Duran Perez, Sofia Isabella Palomino, Gabriela Martinez, Xiann Palenque and Jessica Bustamante.

The 14-under runners-up Treasure Bay Swashbucklers were captained by Michael Girardi and included players Julia Pierce, Sara Simmons, Ana Lense, Noah Riedle, Kayne Newby, Morgan Overman and Jay Melnick.

The 18-under champion Miami Thunder were captained by Kara Borromeo and included players Sara Christine Hartzell, Julian Lara, Deanna Vasserman, Anthony John Quetani, Khyl Gabriel Sostre and Frances Alonso.

The 18-under runners-up Miami Lightning were captained by Cyndi Johnston and included players Ray Azar, Kathrina Etienne, Alyson Nicolle Palma, Tyler Benjamin, Joseph Lewis Glidden, Zamanda Alonso and Hana Newby.

“The Florida section championships mark the end of the local Junior Team Tennis season and gives the players an opportunity to compete for a title while bonding with other players on and off the court,” said USTA Florida Junior Team Tennis Coordinator Liz Coates. “We wish to celebrate all of the teams who participated and wish our Florida champions the best of luck at the USTA JTT National Championships.”

The 14-under JTT nationals will be Sept. 21-24, and the 18-under nationals Sept. 28-Oct. 1, both at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

Established in 1991, USTA Junior Team Tennis provides youth with all of the health and social benefits of tennis in a coed, fun and competitive team environment — all while allowing participants to compete with and against individuals of similar ages and skill levels.

With more than 85,000 players competing nationwide, USTA Junior Team Tennis brings players together to enjoy camaraderie and teamwork, providing a fun environment for kids to learn that succeeding is really more about how they play the game — win or lose.

For more information on USTA Junior Team Tennis in Florida go to

Viktor E. Dash 5K

The Florida Panthers will host their second annual Viktor E. Dash in conjunction with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at BB&T Center on Nov. 4.

The 5K race will kick off at 8 a.m., and the one-mile race, honoring Peggy Ziady, will begin at 8:45 a.m.

All registered racers will receive one ticket for the Panthers vs. Rangers game on Nov. 4 or Panthers vs. Stars on Nov. 14. Each racer will receive a special Viktor E. Dash T-Shirt and custom finisher medal, with the top three in each age group receiving special recognition.

More events, leagues, programs

Soccer for Success

The Children’s Trust and the U.S. Soccer Foundation have partnered up to bring soccer to underserved children and youth in Miami-Dade County. Soccer for Success (SfS) is a health-centered, out-of-school mentoring program for children in grades K-8 designed to eliminate childhood obesity, encourage healthy lifestyles and strengthen families.

Meeting three times a week for 75-90 minutes, kids will enjoy physical activity, nutrition education, mentorship and family engagement, facilitated by specially trained community-based coach-mentors, who also engage parents and caregivers with activities such as Zumba classes, cooking classes, nutrition education, and preventative health services and other wellness-related local resources.

“Because of our partners, a wonderful program called Soccer for Success is launching in Miami, in Liberty City, Little Havana and North Miami,” said James R. Haj, president and CEO of The Children’s Trust. “Soccer and other organized sports teach kids responsibility, how to win, how to lose and how to work together. They learn that if they fall down, they get back up and persevere.

In addition to The Children’s Trust and U.S. Soccer Foundation, funding partners for SfS Miami include the City of Miami and the City of North Miami, the former made possible through the Office of District 5 County Commissioner Keon Hardemon.

Program partners include FLIPANY, Liberty City Optimist Club, City of North Miami Parks and Recreation, FAB Sports, 93rd Street Community Baptist Church, Greater Love Full Gospel Baptist Church and New Providence Missionary Baptist Church. Soccer for Success Miami’s launch includes sites in Liberty City, Little Havana and North Miami; locations in Sweetwater and Homestead are in the works.

“We’d like to see a million kids involved in Soccer for Success by 2026,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “That’s why partnerships like the one we’ve built here in Miami are so important. They’re how things get started and off the ground,” said U.S. Soccer Foundation President and CEO Ed Foster-Simeon.


NBA 2K esports league

The Miami HEAT announced they will be one of 17 National Basketball Association franchises participating in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K esports league, set to debut in 2018.

Along with the HEAT, other participating organizations include:

Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.

“This is the first step in what promises to be an extraordinary league, bringing together the world's best gamers and showcasing elite competition on an international stage,” said NBA 2K esports league Managing Director, Brendan Donohue. “Our teams have expressed tremendous enthusiasm for esports, and we are looking forward to forming something truly unique for basketball and gaming fans around the globe.”

In February 2017, the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) announced plans to launch a new, professional competitive gaming league that will bring together the best basketball gamers in the world. In the coming months, the league and its teams will make a variety of announcements related to participating players, league structure and business updates.

The NBA 2K league is the latest move in esports for the HEAT. In January 2017, the franchise announced a partnership with esports expansion team Misfits. The partnership calls for the HEAT to assist in all duties including marketing, branding, promotion, retail, digital and sponsorship activation while cross-promoting the two franchises. Misfits compete in League of Legends, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Super Smash Brothers and Heatherstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

“We are thrilled to be working alongside 16 other NBA teams on this innovative esports league,” said The HEAT Group President of Business Operations, Eric Woolworth. “Given our unique integration into the esports community through our relationship with Misfits, we feel confident in our ability to reach Miami HEAT and Misfits fans alike, as we help create a new and exciting league from scratch.”

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

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.

Heads Up Football

Nineteen football leaders (including Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Youth development Twan Russell) have been selected to take a leading role within USA Football’s Heads Up Football program, promoting a better and safer game on youth and high school levels nationwide.

The new Master Trainers join more than 100 others to educate high school and youth football programs on Heads Up Football principles.

Representing 15 states, the group of individuals – which includes youth, high school and college football coaches, as well as former NFL players – actively participated in a USA Football-led workshop earlier this year that educated them on the core fundamentals of the Heads Up Football program.

After completing the workshop, Master Trainers will instruct youth and high school coaches in their regions on Heads Up Football principles and teach youth league- and high school-appointed Player Safety Coaches, who will oversee their programs’ implementation of the highest national coaching standards for football.

“We’re proud to welcome the expertise our new Master Trainers bring to an already strong roster of knowledgeable, committed football experts who help us advance and grow the game alongside the youth and high school football community,” USA Football CEO and Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “Master Trainers are leaders and educators, and work nationwide to implement important standards for parents, administrators, and coaches to ensure proper health and safety protocols are in place and to unify the approach to teaching football-specific techniques for the well-being of our athletes.”

Russell played football for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, the University of Miami and the Miami Dolphins.

Created and administered by independent non-profit USA Football, Heads Up Football is a comprehensive way to teach and play the sport, encompassing coaching education, equipment fitting, shoulder tackling and blocking fundamentals, CDC-approved concussion recognition/response, sudden cardiac arrest protocols and heat preparedness/hydration. It’s supported by the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, among other leading associations spanning medicine and sport.

More than 2,200 high schools and nearly 75 percent of all U.S. youth leagues enrolled in Heads Up Football in 2016 for the betterment of student-athletes. The program is endorsed by a combined total of 32 state high school athletic associations and high school football coaches associations spanning 26 states. USA Football, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is the sport’s national governing body and certifies more high school and youth coaches combined than any organization in the U.S

About USA Football

USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players. Follow USA Football on Facebook or on Twitter.


The Miami Backgammon Club plays 7 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.

Free live play. Tournament entry fee $10.

Contact Leo at 305-669-5260 or

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

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 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.


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.


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

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).