AZ Youth Sports Day's 10th anniversary—was celebrated today, October 5, 2013 at Fight Ready, a new mixed martial arts center in Scottsdale. Arizona. Linking Sports & Communities (LSC), the non-profit, which hosts the event, encourages student athletes to stay in school, lead healthy lifestyles and be financially responsible. A mixture of youth and parents, teachers and coaches from schools, sports leagues and neighborhoods attended the daylong conference.
Scottsdale Vice-Mayor Virginia Korte was an opening speaker. While commending the participants for addressing academic and financial literacy, she also challenged everyone to promote community service.
Korte was followed by excellent panel discussions on health issues, financial planning and careers. The speakers were both inspiring to and inspired by the young athletes in the audience. Dr. Steven Erickson (Banner’s Concussion Center) provided information about the latest research on concussions resulting from sports. Trainers and coaches like Matt Gloyd and Zig Ziegler (representing the presenting sponsors—Foothills Sports Medicine and Fight Ready—respectively) told how to avoid injury, and rely on attitude, healthy eating and discipline, rather than stimulants and supplements, to excel.
The crowd enjoyed hearing from professional athletes, such as former Arizona Cardinal Jamir Miller, who owns Fight Ready and Crave Chips; Nick Lowery, the retired Pro-Bowl NFL kicker and current philanthropist; and James Johnson, head of the 2012 US Olympic Wrestling Team. They also learned about opportunities to work in sports without being a professional athlete from speakers, like Phoenix Suns Account Executive Lauren Wyckoff, Shape Up US Founder Jyl Steinback, and Captain Vic McCraw, from the Arizona State Police and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) Executives.
Aspiring professional athletes learned about the need to understand business from Greater Phoenix Black Chamber CEO Kerwin Brown and Harry Garewal, CEO of Trin Associates. Take Charge America’s Stacia Edmond provided some fun and helpful hints on how teens can start managing their money now.
The attending speakers and adults enjoyed the event, as much as the youth. Emcee Eva Bowen said to LSC Founder Denise Meridith “I was AMAZED by the cast of professionals you amassed to share their knowledge. What my son learned during the event was priceless.”
Readers can learn more about and donate to LSC by visiting www.crowdrise.com/communityleadershipawards