Dates & Locations Announced For 2023 Girls Inc. Learn To Ski Clinics
by USA Water Ski & Wake Sports
USA Water Ski & Wake Sports is pleased to announce the dates and locations of its 2023 Sports 4 Life “Get on the Water, Girls Learn to Ski Program” with Girls Inc. of Winter Haven and Girls Inc. of Lakeland. The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) announced the 2022 grant recipients of the Sports 4 Life program – a national initiative, co-founded with espnW and supported by Gatorade, to increase sport participation and retention of Black, African-American, Hispanic and Native American girls throughout the country. This year, a total of $280,000 has been awarded to 40 organizations across 23 states, and Washington, D.C., helping to fuel and diversify sports opportunities for nearly 6,000 girls across 40 traditional and non-traditional sports.
The Sports 4 Life program supports programs that help girls in four foundational areas – leadership, confidence, self-esteem, and perseverance – fostering girls’ physical and emotional health and academic success. USA Water Ski & Wake Sports began addressing these important areas of girls’ development in 2019 through its “Get on the Water, Girls Learn to Ski Program” with Girls Inc. of Winter Haven, and with the assistance of the Cypress Gardens Ski Team.
For the second consecutive year, USA Water Ski & Wake Sports is expanding the program to include both the Winter Haven and Lakeland communities, enlisting the help of the Central Florida Show Ski Team. Instruction and practice are conducted both on dry land and behind the boat. By the end of the program, the participants will have had the opportunity to participate in and master skills in a sport which many youths will never have an opportunity to try. The girls who participate in the program form strong, new friendships and support from the local ski community and ski clubs, enabling them to continue participating in the sport.
The Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show Team/Girls Inc. of Winter Haven clinics will begin with a safety meeting on June 28 followed by on-water sessions at Lake Silver from 10 a.m.. to noon on July 5, July 12, July 19 and July 26. The Central Florida Water Ski Show Team/Girls Inc. of Lakeland clinics will begin with a safety meeting on June 16 followed by on-water sessions at Lake Bonny from 10 a.m. to noon on June 23, July 7, July 14 and July 21. On July 28, Central Florida Water Ski Show Team/Girls Inc. of Lakeland will have an exhibition showcasing the water ski skills the girls learned through the program. Between 20 and 25 girls are expected to participate at each clinic.
“We are honored to be one of the 40 organizations once again receiving a Sports 4 Life grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW,” said Nate Boudreaux, executive director of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports. “Our program strives to create and expand developmental youth sports programs, and it has proven to be successful since implementing it in 2019.”
Sports 4 Life was co-founded by WSF and espnW in 2014 based on the knowledge that while sports participation offers tremendous life-long benefits – from improved physical health and self-esteem, to better grades in school and enhanced leadership skills – girls of color are disproportionately excluded. The program seeks to close the gap by strengthening and expanding the opportunities for sports participation available to young girls of color. With the knowledge that Native American youth are disproportionately impacted by poverty, inadequate healthcare, along with a higher risk of obesity, WSF expanded Sports 4 Life in 2022 to serve Native American girls, including American Indian and Alaska Native communities.