The Office of Community Relations, in conjunction with CoreStates Bank, has teamed up with the Athletic Department to pitch the importance of academic achievement and physical education to West Philadelphia youths. A program called "Score with Education" will offer sports clinics to students attending local elementary and middle schools. The clinics are scheduled to kick off March 23 at the University boathouse, which is located on the Schuylkill River. According to Fran Connors, assistant athletic director for Public Relations and Marketing, the clinics seek to expose West Philadelphia youth to academic and athletic opportunities. Athletic coaches, athletes, faculty and staff will provide athletic, recreational and educational instruction to the students. A soccer clinic is planned for March 30, a baseball clinic for April 13 and gymnastics clinics are scheduled for April 6 and 20. The baseball clinic, for example, is designed to provide approximately 75 local students with knowledge of the fundamentals of baseball as well as drills which will help them achieve a higher skill level. Guest speakers are scheduled to discuss the importance of preventing and caring for injuries and to emphasize the importance of education. "Physical education goes well beyond sports that the students are familiar with, like football and basketball," Connors said. "We want to expose them to sports like squash and gymnastics as well." Experts in sports medicine will highlight health and nutrition, and students will receive hands-on instruction in order to apply the principles taught at the clinics. "The academic segment of the program has not been finalized," Connors said, adding that the group may tour a chemistry laboratory. The gymnastics team organized a series of clinics in the fall which attracted an average of 25 students at each clinic. In order to maintain the relationship with the participants, a "Score with Education" club may be established for local youths as well. Each member of the club would receive a T-shirt, a membership card and information about future academic and athletic activities at the University. "The members would also be invited back to the University to attend athletic events," Connors said. Facilities to be utilized for the program include Franklin Field, the Palestra, the soccer field and Bower Field. Connors predicted that an average of 100 students will attend the clinics weekly.Comments powered by Disqus
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