Youth Sports

Saint Louis Covenant School wins inaugural middle school softball tournament hosted by Pace High School

The Saint Louis Covenant School Crusaders won Monsignor Edward Pace High School’s inaugural middle school softball tournament.
The Saint Louis Covenant School Crusaders won Monsignor Edward Pace High School’s inaugural middle school softball tournament.

Monsignor Edward Pace High School hosted its first middle school softball tournament.

The event, similar to high school Slamfest and Speedball style, was open to middle school teams.

Results: First: Saint Louis Covenant School. Second: Immaculate Conception Catholic School. Third: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-Saint Richard Catholic School.

Monsignor Edward Pace High School is planning to make it an annual tournament. Contact Pace softball coach Angel Torres 305-417-3763 or email coachangeltorres@gmail.com.

Tennis

The Miami Junior Tennis Cup returned to the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne as part of the 2015 Miami Open Tennis tournament.

The event is an initiative of the Mayor’s Youth Sports Championship series, created by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez that aims to increase participation in youth athletics.

The Miami Junior Tennis Cup showcased youth tennis at one of the world’s most high-profile professional tennis tournaments. Junior players, age 7-11, competed in two 16-player divisions for the Mayor’s Cup.

Mayor Gimenez presented the trophies on Stadium Court.

Mayor’s Cup Winners

Green Ball Division

1. Matthieu Van Aal (Tamiami Park, Miami)

2. Brooke Dugarte (Tamiami Park, Miami)

Orange Division (60 foot court)

1. Yubel Ubri (Coral Reef Park, Palmetto Bay)

2. Ignacio Zamora (Tamiami Park, Miami)

This event was presented by Miami-Dade County Parks in association with USTA Florida.

For information about youth tennis in Florida, visit

www.USTAFlorida.com/youthtennis

About the Youth Sports Championship Series

The Youth Sports Championship Series featuring the newly coveted Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Cup, is the vision of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez who as a father, grandfather and volunteer youth sports coach believes in the values and benefits children derive from participating in organized sports.

The Mayor’s Youth Sports Championship Series aims to build and support a strong foundation of organized sports throughout Miami-Dade County through a series of sport championships coordinated by the Miami-Dade Parks Department and the local governing body of the individual youth sport. Champions will be crowned in 10 sports at 15 events, predominantly at Miami-Dade County owned parks and facilities.

Winners of championships in tennis, track and field, basketball, baseball, flag football, golf, swimming, cross country, cheer and dance, and soccer will be crowned with the Mayor’s Cup.

About USTA Florida

Established in 1949, USTA Florida is a section of the United States Tennis Association. It is a not-for-profit volunteer organization with approximately 50,000 members, 1,000 organizational members and a $4 million budget.

As the official governing body of tennis in Florida, USTA Florida operates from an executive office in Daytona Beach with 28 staff members and more than 600 volunteers throughout the state working towards a mission to promote and develop tennis in Florida.

To learn more about USTA Florida visit www.USTAFlorida.com

About Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department

Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for active older adults and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Miami Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/.

Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors. Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.

For information on the Parks Foundation, visit www.liveaparklife.org

Archbishop Curley sports

At a recent Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School Tennis Awards Dinner, Head Coach Germain Liburd recognized the following student athletes for their outstanding effort.

Sophomore Enrique Diaz received the Sportsmanship Award; sophomore Serge Andre, Coaches Award; junior Eduardo Fajardo, MVP; senior Kaila Merrill, Co-MVP; sophomore Janelle Forbes, co-MVP; and sophomore Patricia Alvarado, Coaches Award.

Sophomore Cassie Poulard and senior Carmen Pierre advanced to the FHSAA Track & Field State Championships at North Florida University in Jacksonville. Poulard qualified in the 100 hurdles and Pierre in the 100-meter dash.

Our Lady of Lakes sports

Students from 26 Archdiocese of Miami Catholic schools were celebrated at the All Catholic Conference All-Star Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Miami Beach. Many family members, coaches, and teachers from all of the schools attended to show their support.

Fifteen student athletes from Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School were invited by their coaches to represent their respective varsity sport. Students were selected based on their leadership off and on the playing field, dedication to the team, hard work, and/or overall sportsmanship.

Miami Dolphins/City Year Miami

The Miami Dolphins, through their educational pillar of their foundation, announced the public launch of a four-year $1 million partnership with City Year Miami, an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. In 2015, the foundation will sponsor City Year programs at Carol City and Norland high schools through funds raised from Fins Weekend, presented by Estrella Insurance.

The three-day event from May 14-16 is the foundation’s largest annual event featuring current players, alumni, coaches and cheerleaders.

“Every successful person I know has had mentors and people along the way that helped them,” said Miami Dolphins President and CEO Tom Garfinkel. “We wanted to ensure the longevity of the great work that City Year Miami is doing with the kids right here in our home of Miami Gardens. We hope to expand this commitment through Fins Weekend and the education pillar of the Miami Dolphins Foundation to fund additional programs in Miami Gardens and other South Florida schools in the future.”

City Year AmeriCorps members commit to a year of full-time service in schools, where they work as tutors, mentors and role models. Founded in Boston in 1988, City Year works in 25 cities across the United States and has international affiliates in London and Birmingham, England and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Since the 2011-12 school year, City Year Miami has served more than 2,500 students in Miami Gardens senior high schools - Miami Carol City and Miami Norland. Working collaboratively with Miami Dade County Public Schools, school leaders, and committed teachers, over the last four years the program has been able to achieve extraordinary results:

  • Math proficiency rates have increased by 25 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
  • Points earned for students in the lowest quartile, which City Year AmeriCorps members directly serve, made significant learning gains in reading and increased by 14 and 22 points, respectively.
  • Graduation rates have increased significantly over the last four years - 13.4 percent increase at Miami Carol City and 14.3 percent increase at Miami Norland.

“Every community looks out for its team,” said Brad Meltzer, bestselling author and co-founder of City Year Miami. “This is a team looking out for its community. What the Dolphins did today will give us better students, better schools, and a better South Florida. Forget scoring touchdowns — this is what makes you my hero.”

Fins Weekend, presented by Estrella Insurance, will begin Friday, May 15 with the Fins Weekend Golf Tournament presented by Waste Management at Trump National Doral Golf Club, followed by the Hook & Tackle Captains’ Party presented by South Florida Ford. On Saturday, May 16, the Fins Weekend Fishing Tournament and Fishing Awards Ceremony & Live Auction presented by Simrad will be held at the Miami Beach Marina.

For information visit finsweekend.com or call 305-943-7900.

About Miami Dolphins Foundation

Established in 1996 as the fundraising arm of the Miami Dolphins Football Team, the Miami Dolphins Foundation is committed to making a difference year round in the South Florida community. The foundation consists of three pillars: education, health and volunteerism and activities that inspire and engage communities throughout Florida.

For information, visit the organization’s website at dolphins.com.

About City Year

City Year is an education-focused organization founded in 1988 dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. City Year partners with public schools in 26 urban, high-poverty communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates in the U.K. and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide high-impact student, classroom and school-wide support, to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is made possible by support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, school district partnerships, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals.

Learn more at www.cityyear.org.

South Beach Triathlon

Brian Duffy and Hana Sykorova were the first to cross the finish line in the South Beach Triathlon on April 19, but the real winners were the kids who will benefit from the more than $350,000 that was raised through the race for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

With a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and Miami Beach's Art Deco district, a field of 2,213 athletes started the grueling race produced and presented by Life Time - The Healthy Way of Life Company (NYSE: LTM). They began with a salt-water swim in the Atlantic waters off Ocean Drive. A bike ride across the MacArthur Causeway into downtown Miami was next, and the event culminated with a run through South Beach and a celebration on the sand.

The temperature was already 79 degrees when the race began at 6:45 a.m. and quickly climbed into the mid-80s by the completion of the event. Duffy and Sykorova were among the event's elite athletes who competed on an international distance course (.93-mile swim, 24.25-mile bike ride, 6.2-mile run) while a classic distance course (.5-mile swim, 20.7-mile bike ride, 4-mile run) challenged most of the race's participants.

The heat surprisingly didn't faze Duffy, a 27-year old who is completing his first year in the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania and finished in 1 hour 55minutes 24second. He seemed intent on reaching the finish line quickly so he could prepare for a busy final week of school that includes multiple presentations and term papers. Duffy made his travel reservation to South Florida before learning about the course load, but decided to rise to the occasion and fulfill his goals.

“When I booked this trip, I figured not too much would be going on with one week to go in the year,” said Duffy, a Duke grad who founded the Duke Triathlon and finished 34 seconds ahead of Barrett Lehardy of Roanoke, Va. “I love the sport and I do my best to manage it with everything else I have going on.”

Duffy exited the water tied for first after the triathlon's first-leg swim and grabbed the lead during the bike ride.

“Overall I was able to put together a pretty complete race,” he said. “I got in a nice rhythm in the swim, and then took the lead about a mile into the bike ride. I was able to open it up and get a couple of minutes lead. I'd be the first to say that humidity is not my favorite condition to run in, but I paced myself well in the run.”

Sykorova, 36, was the first elite woman to finish, crossing the tape at 2:19:58 and well ahead of Romina Maldonado of Miami. The Czech Republic native came to the United States in 2000 to run for the College of Charleston in Spartanburg, S.C. and ended up staying. She ran the 2010 New York City Marathon, put in four years of serious training and spent a year as a racing pro. The Met Life international sales professional recently turned back to amateur status.

“With working and training, I got burnt out,” she said. “I totally surprised myself,” completing the opening swim in third place, and she continued to surprise, turning in a great bike ride despite not getting a single day of training for the event.

“The weather has been horrible in New York,” Sykorova said, “but sometimes you get lucky. Then I just hung on in the run.”

The Classic distance male winner was New Yorker Luke Tudenham, 35, who defeated Full Throttle Endurance Team teammate Benjamin Green, 33, to replicate last year's 1-2 finish. Tuddenham’s time was 1:29:52 and Green 1:33:28.

“We were trash-talking going into the race," joked Tudenham, a father of two and founder of IT company CPT Global. “We bring down about 80 athletes from New York City. It's great for team building, especially after the winter we've just had.”

Tudenham, a Melbourne Australia native who was fourth in the Olympic World Championships in his age group last year (35-39), is training with a goal to medal in the 2015 event in Chicago.

“I would like to go one better and be on the podium next year,” he said, “but it's tough managing a company, a family and training, too."

The top women's finishers in the Classic distance were a pair of local runners. Kristell Acosta, 32, of Doral covered the course in 1:43:56, more than three minutes faster than Stephanie Reinhold, 30, of Miami (1:47:01).

A lineup of sports and entertainment celebrities helped the triathlon make a significant impact for St. Jude in the eighth year of its partnership with the world-renowned pediatric research hospital. The support of these 'St. Jude Heroes' helps to ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.

The celebrities included former Miami Heat and two-time NBA champion Shane Battier, who biked 20.7 miles as part of St. Jude's ‘Hero Team.’ Others who participated included former NBA veteran Jason Collins, actors Colin Egglesfield, Geoff Stults, James Marsden, Parker Young, Josh Hopkins and Josh Pence, and actresses Abigail Spencer and Nathalia Ramos.

The South Beach Triathlon is the first of the 12-race Life Time Tri Series that are scheduled across the country from April through October to provide premier triathlon experiences in beautiful destinations. The Miami area will also play host to the Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon on Sept. 20.

South Beach Triathlon

Top local finishers

International Distance: Men: 4. Yunior Rosete, Miami, 2:02:49; 5. Cobi Morales, Miami, 2:03:20; 8. Roy Liu, Miami, 2:06:48; 10. Guido Perez, Miami, 2:07:56. Women: 2. Romina Maldonado, Miami, 2:21:39; 4. Emilie Ney, Bay Harbor Islands, 2:23:29; 5. Oriana Bafunno, Miami, 2:23:43; 9. Katherine Rivera, Miami, 2:27:06.

Classic Distance: Men: 7. Javier Pineda, Miami, 1:39:25; 10. Claudio Navas, Miami, 1:40:38. Women: 1. Kristell Acosta, Doral, 1:43:56; 2. Stephanie Reinhold, Miami, 1:47:01; 4. Monica Rossi-Montero, Miami, 1:51:11; 7. Belinda Bradberry, Miami, 1:52:47; 8. Rachelle Ginsberg, Miami, 1:53:00; 10. Vanessa Soulavy, Key Biscayne, 1:54:36.

For information and updates on the Life Time Tri series, visit

lifetimetri.com,

"Like" the Life Time Tri Facebook page or follow

@lifetimetri on Twitter.

More information about Life Time Athletic Events is available at

EventsByLifeTime.com,

on Twitter @lifetimefitness and the

Life Time Athletic Events Facebook page.

Sunshine State Games

Florida’s Sunshine State Games online registration is open for select sports of its 2015 Calendar of Events.

Now in its 36th year, the Sunshine State Games has become an amateur sports tradition in Florida and nationwide. All Floridians are welcome to compete in any of the more than 25 sports offered in 10 different Florida communities between April and November.

SSG strives to provide first-class facilities, a family-friendly atmosphere and professionally organized, yet affordable competition, for more than 10,000 athletes of all ages.

Online registration is open for select events, including three multi-sport festivals in Broward, Sarasota and Palm Beach counties at

www.flasports.com.

Since making its debut in 1980, Florida’s Sunshine State Games has established itself as the Nation’s Longest-Running State Games.

SSG Spring Festival, May 15-17, Broward County

SSG Sarasota County Festival, June 6-8

SSG Palm Beach County Festival, June 13-14

SSG Table Tennis Championships, June 20-21, Lakeland

SSG Water Polo Championships, June 26-28, Coral Springs

Entry fees vary by sport and registration deadlines are approximately two weeks prior to the competition date.

The Broward County Festival includes three sports: Figure Skating, Lacrosse, rugby.

The Sarasota County Festival features competition in seven sports; Archery, Canoe/Kayak, Disc Golf, Racquetball, Rowing, Synchronized Swimming and Ultimate.

The Sunshine State Games returns to West Palm Beach for the first time since 2002 when the Palm Beach County Festival offers eight sports; BMX Cycling, Fencing, Judo, Karate, Powerlifting, Taekwondo, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

“We look forward to working with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission to present the eight sports of the Palm Beach County Festival,” said Florida Sports Foundation Senior Vice President, Stephen Rodriguez. “The Palm Beach Convention Center will come alive the weekend of June 13-14 with seven sports being held in the building and over 1,000 athletes competing.”

Look for upcoming information about the 2015 Sunshine State Games events at

www.flasports.com.

MLB Bat Girl contest

Nominate someone who is Going to Bat Against breast cancer.

Winners will receive MLB game tickets and the opportunity to be recognized on-field during the game. Vote for nominees affected by the disease.

Nominate at

BatGirl

Visit mlb.com.

Jose’s Heroes

To support Miami Marlins star pitcher José Fernández on his road to recovery, the Marlins announce the return of the José’s Heroes season ticket package for the 2015 season.

For $499, José’s Heroes receive:

-A ticket to all 81 Marlins regular season home games. That’s about $6 a seat.

-A special edition José’s Heroes T-shirt each month.

-A complimentary ‘K’ Card!

-A meet-and-greet event with the man himself, José Fernández.

-Purchase the José’s Heroes season ticket package and travel to Marlins Park to support the Fish, 25 men strong.

For information, visit marlins.com/josesheroes, email SeasonTickets@marlins.com or call 305-480-2521.

Kendall Hammocks cheer, football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Tackle program announces the registrations dates and times for the 2015 football and cheerleading season.

Tackle fee $185 which includes home game jersey that players keep, secondary insurance, participation awards, and the rental of helmet, shoulder pads, game pants. Issued equipment to be returned at season’s end. Also, the NFL’s Stephen Tulloch Football Camp as well as the Rookie Camp.

Cheer registration fee $385 which includes $185 initial deposit for practice T-shirt, shorts, game day socks, hair bow, cheer brief, and shoes, secondary insurance, and participation awards. The remaining $200 is for competition, body liner, shoes, socks, warm up, cheer bag, and uniform rental.

Register 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 30 and June 6 and 13; and 6:30-8:30 p.m. May 15.

Registrations and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave. Tackle season starts July 6.

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

or visit the web site at www.khwarriors.org

The Warriors Football program, under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks, is an all volunteer organization, serving the community in sports for more than 28 years. The Warriors compete in the Miami Xtreme Football League.

Play Action Sports cheer, football

Play Action Sports bought the Coral Gables Cavaliers Youth Football & Cheer Program and is re-rebuilding it.

The group seeks a cheer director and cheer coaches as well as football coaches, volunteers and team moms and dads to assist with the 2015 season in the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League. Home games will be played at Coral Gables High School.

Contact:

Ozzie@playactionsports.org

305-796-6642

Jon@playactionsports.org

305-923-7656

www.playactionsports.org

Suniland flag football

Registration for the Suniland 5-on-5 Flag Football Summer Season is open until June for boys and girls, age 5-15.

Registration is at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy., Pinecrest, every weeknight 6 to 8 and every Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Fee is $125 and covers reversible shirt, shorts, flags, secondary insurance and high school certified referees. Full Teams accepted at a discounted rate. Every team makes playoffs. Coaches and team sponsors needed.

For information, contact Flag Commissioner Ken Hanna 305-992-2991 or Club President Jose Regalado 305-458-1966 or josearegalado@att.net.

The Optimist Club of Suniland is an organization entirely made up of volunteers who have been providing community service thru sports in South Florida since 1968.

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.

Palmetto Bay flag football

Palmetto Bay Broncos Flag Football is at Coral Reef Park.

Open to boys and girls, age 4-18. Register as an individual for $100 or as a team of 10 with a coach for $800.

Practices and games are weekdays either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.

In its 39 years, the Broncos have provided more than 7,000 children the opportunity to participate in an organized football and cheerleading program. Tackle football and cheerleading are under the Greater Miami South Florida Pop Warner League banner.

Visit Palmetto Bay Broncos

Email info@palmettobaybroncos.org

Suniland conditioning

Optimist Club of Suniland Sports Conditioning is now-May 31 at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy., Pinecrest.

Registration is 6-8 p.m. weeknights for boys and girls, age 5-15. Fee is $20 which covers T-shirt, insurance and awards. Contact Jose Regalado 305-458-1966 or josearegalado@att.net.

NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth

NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 today announced the expansion of their commitment to youth health and wellness by giving NFL FLAG Essentials Kits to one million students across 2,500 schools nationwide, including 10 focus cities: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Jacksonville, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The expansion is made possible by a $1 million commitment from NFL Foundation.

The announcement was made by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CEO of GENYOUth Alexis Glick and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the 2015 NFL Draft Youth Football Clinic in Chicago’s Grant Park.

During 2014 Kickoff, NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 announced a commitment to providing children in elementary schools and after-school programs nationwide with NFL FLAG Essentials Kits enabling kids and communities to “Play 60.” The kits which include footballs, flag belts, posters and a PE curriculum designed for elementary and middle school students, garnered enthusiasm, reaching 1,800 schools nationwide, resulting in 500,000 kids getting more active, and the demand for NFL FLAG powered by USA Football to be played before, during and after school.

The goal of the partnership between the NFL and Fuel Up to Play 60 is to give children more opportunities to be physically active and to "Play 60" by offering PE teachers and school administrators the equipment, curriculum, training and recognition they need to uplift and support physical education. This extension of the program provides a million more students across the country with the tools to play NFL FLAG, which combines the strategy of football with the lessons of teamwork, resiliency and respect.

“We want all kids to have the chance to get active and flag football is a fun way to play 60 and learn the fundamentals of football,” said Commissioner Goodell. “We know many children are physically inactive and the critical need in schools and communities for equipment and ways to increase participation in physical education. We want to make this a positive experience by offering NFL FLAG Kits to inspire kids to play football and be active today and in years to come.”

Results from the program’s first year include:

· 98% of teachers reporting using the Kits in PE class for more than one semester

· 47% using Kits after school

· 28% using Kits during recess

· 21% using Kits weekend activity and/or sporting activities

· 12% using Kits before school, leading to an increased number of physically activity kids

NFL FLAG provides children of all ages with the opportunity to be active and learn the basics of football in a fun environment. With the tremendous reach of Fuel Up to Play 60, the nation’s largest in-school nutrition and physical activity program, an additional 1,000,000 children in more than 2,500 schools will be able to participate in the coming 2015-16 school year via the new Kits. The program will culminate with the NFL FLAG National Championships at Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

“GENYOUth is proud to support this partnership by bringing this fresh and exciting sport to schools nationwide through our flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60,” said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. “Flag football is a fun, fast-paced, skills-based and strategy-driven game that inspires more kids to get active. It allows physical education teachers and communities to introduce a new curriculum that has already inspired more physical activity among both boys and girls during and outside of the school day.”

Schools can apply for the Kits starting in early May via the Fuel Up to Play 60 website:

www.FuelUpToPlay60.com and will be provided at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year while supplies last. Additionally, in-person FLAG trainings using the curriculum developed by USA Football and SHAPE America will be held in the 10 NFL markets this fall.

About NFL FLAG

NFL FLAG powered by USA Football (http://www.nflflag.com/) provides opportunities for children ages 5-17 to enjoy America's favorite sport.

With more than 250,000 participants nationwide, players benefit by being physically active through non-contact, continuous action while learning the fundamentals of football, lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship. NFL FLAG is a program of PLAY 60, the NFL’s campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.

About Fuel Up to Play 60

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America’s dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools.

The program additionally encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. As a result of the program, last year 14 million students made better food choices and are getting more physically active during the school day. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association/Foundation, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association.

Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.

About GENYOUth Foundation

A leading nonprofit, GENYOUth brings leaders in health and wellness, education, government and business together in a movement to empower America’s youth to achieve a healthier future by uniting partners, raising funds and uplifting the student voice.

GENYOUth has established itself as a thought leader in youth health and wellness and collaborates with its partners to convene experts, conduct research, publish perspective reports, and build programs that make a lasting difference in the pursuit of healthy, high-achieving youth. Founded in 2010 through a public-private partnership with the National Dairy Council and the NFL, GENYOUth has raised funds, increased visibility and commitment to school wellness among health and wellness leaders, educators, students, parents, community leaders and businesses.

Learn more about GENYOUth partnership, volunteer and donation opportunities at

www.genyouthfoundation.org or contact

info@genyouthfoundation.org.

About USA Football

Indianapolis-based USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and sport to establish important standards rooted in education. USA Football trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the U.S., advancing coaching education and player skill development for safer play and positive experiences through athletics.

Follow USA Football at

www.facebook.com/usafootball or on Twitter

@USAFootball.

About SHAPE America

SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs.

For information, visit www.shapeamerica.org.

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 in 2015.

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

More events, leagues, programs

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

Florida Christian lacrosse

Florida Christian School Athletic Director Ed Riggan, announced that FCS Athletics will offer lacrosse at the JV level for the spring of the 2014-15 school year. For information call 305-226-8152 or visit www.floridachristian.org.

ThunderPlex

Thunder Athletix and Brain Gymnasium LLC teamed to offer a complete fitness program of body and mind at the new ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82 Ave. in Doral.

Students can improve their basketball skills and physical fitness, as well as strengthen their academic skills through specialized tutoring programs. They can have fun and finish their homework.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game to children age 5-17.

Brain Gymnasium offers specialized tutoring, homework help, FCAT Prep, SAT/ACT Prep, and Entrance Exam Prep. Their degreed, professional and experienced teachers provide a simple and exciting approach to learning.

For information on special packages, after school programs and summer programs,

visit www.jointhunder.com ; contact@jointhunder.com or call 786-505-5585.

For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit www.braingymnasium.org or call 305-788-7339.

Thunder basketball

Thunder Basketball opened its new year-round facility at ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82th Ave., Doral.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game. It stresses the importance of team and sportsmanship.

Thunder also encourages players to succeed in the classroom and all aspects of life.

For information visit www.jointhunder.com

Registration is open.

Email contact@jointhunder.com or call 786-505-5585.

Miami Lady Express basketball

The Miami Lady Express girls’ basketball team needs funding to continue competing in tournaments throughout the United States. The coaches volunteered to train the girls, giving them something positive to do, and the parents have been raising funds.

Travel costs, food, tournament fees and lodging are very expensive for these girls. They practice at the Keys Gate Gym in Florida City and South Dade High School, where their coaches teach. Contact Coach Larry Hicks at 786-301-2577.

Tamiami basketball

Tamiami youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys ages 5 to 16.

Email Tamiamibasketball@gmail.com or call 305 -273-1145.

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.

Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind-the-scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 per person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas, including the suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours of 10 to 25 people are available by appointment.

For more information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail tours@marlins.com. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (Northwest Sixth Street between 14th and 15th avenues) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school) players.

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams, which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at www.hofball.net or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, for boys ages 6-18, practices from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays at Murray Park and Wednesdays at Palmer Park, 6120 SW 67th Ave., South Miami. Call 305-400-0134, ext. 101.

Visit www.miamirugbykids.com.

Soccer 5 Academy

Soccer 5 Academy Mini Soccer Program, also referred to as small-sided soccer, is at three Miami-Dade County-owned parks — Tropical Park (7900 Bird Rd.), Kendall Soccer Park (8011 SW 127th Ave.) and Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St., Hialeah).

Headed by Soccer 5’s Director of Coaching Development Alan Georgeson, who has more than 15 years of experience in Europe in mini/small-sided soccer, kids 3 to 12 years old will learn the history of mini soccer, the basics of how to play, reasons why mini soccer is the preferred form of soccer for kids, youth and even adults, and will have the opportunity to play in “3v3” to “7v7” matches.

The three locations make mini/small-sided soccer available across the county, providing a greater opportunity for children and families to access the proper 4G turf game fields specifically designed for “5v5,” “6v6” and “7v7” games.

With smaller fields, mini soccer is much easier for young children or children who have never played. In addition, mini soccer is designed for competition among teams with fewer players, providing more opportunity for pick-up games, as well as more opportunity to play the ball making mini soccer popular with older players, too.

For more information or to register, visit www.miamisoccer5.com.

Rebelle volleyball

Rebelle Athletics Club offers girls’ volleyball tryouts at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, 4949 NE Second Ave.

The volleyball club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association, is under the direction of Mandi Tate, Dee Rey and former Barry University player Kelly Dantas. They are former coaches with South Florida Volleyball Club and currently coach at the Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School Biscayne Bay Campus.

Rebelle Athletics is dedicated to providing developmental and participatory athletic sports programs beginning at the youth development level. It offers a progression of sports activities for persons of all ages, races and creeds. It strives to enhance the physical, mental and moral development of amateur athletes at all levels, promoting sportsmanship and active citizenship.

Visit www.rebelleathletics.com.

Jai-Alai

Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Call Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

Jai-Alai for women

Who said you have to be a male to play jai-alai? Just as females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, women can play it in South Florida at the amateur indoor, air-conditioned fronton at 1935 NE 150 St., North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

There are also leagues for males and children. Rubber or plastic balls are used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls are also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open every day. Email admanUSA@aol.com or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

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).

Nominate youth baseball, softball players to be honored for academics, sportsmanship at Miami Marlins game

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 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, 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 or travel league or school league (elementary school or middle school aged) for 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.

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

jvarsallone@miamiherald.com or call 954-538-7153.

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