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About 170 students from White Plains High School had the opportunity this summer to work on their physical and mental fitness.
For six weeks, student-athletes participated in the first year of the White Plains High School Summer Sports Academy, a free camp supported by district officials, the White Plains Board of Education and the White Plains Tigers Fans Committee.
It is considered the first program in Section 1 to incorporate speed and strength training and injury prevention knowledge with SAT/ACT prep and study skills.
“The program was amazing and a great success for our Tigers,” White Plains Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ricca said.
The Sports Academy was supposed to kick off a few years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic hit when White Plains High Athletic Director Matthew Cameron, football coaches and the athletic training staff were discussing ways to support athletes and get them ready for the fall season.
“We were seeing a variety of injuries and student-athletes that needed a lot of time to get in to be able to successfully compete at the high school level,” Cameron explained. “As we continued to meet and discuss ideas, we brought all of our coaches, building administration, and guidance counselors to the table and decided we would offer an academic component that could service all of our students, not just athletes.”
“The collaboration between our coaches, guidance counselors, building administration all led to our first ever summer sports academy and it was a huge success,” he added.
Three days a week, male and female students went to the high school from 4:30 to 7 p.m. to take part in three rotating 40-minute sessions to sharpen their skills on and off the field. The program was run solely by coaches from the district who volunteered their time.
“The administration was very happy with the result of it,” said John Donahoe, chairman of the White Plains Tigers Fans Committee, which provided snacks and sports drinks to students who attended the Sports Academy. “It was structured pretty much like a school day. Students were very excited about it.”
Planning is already underway for the Sports Academy to return next summer with district officials looking at possibly expanding it.
“We will continue to meet, discuss the survey’s and look at ways to improve in areas that we can,” Cameron said.
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/