By Marie Gilmore

Former wide-receiver with the Minnesota Vikings, Tony Bland, came up with the idea for PROtential Sports while hosting a series of summer camps with several NFL stars 10 years ago. The success of the camps motivated Tony to start his own. Partnering with his wife, Nyree Bland, a professional tennis stand-out, Tony launched PROtential Sports and now hosts five successful sites in New Tampa every school day.

Now, partnering with the Rivercrest Community Development District Center, Bland and his PROtential team will introduce their character building concept through summer camps offered in the community leading up to the afterschool program planned to launch in the fall.

Conveniently located near Riverview Montessori School and Sessums Elementary, Bland says, “We are different because we really instill sportsmanship and respect, and the kids really learn these skills in our programs,” describes Bland, a father of two children himself. “We get the character traits molded into the kids.”

Rivercrest Community Development District Center at 11560 Ramble Creek Dr. serves as the hub of activities for PROtential Sports. The program includes both afterschool and summer camp sessions that offer enrollees the opportunity to learn and participate in a variety of sports, including soccer, basketball, football, baseball, lacrosse, golf, tennis, and cheerleading. In addition to sports coaching and mentorship, the program offers transportation, snacks and homework help to all of its students.

“We couldn’t be happier about PROtential Sports coming to our center,” said Rick Reidt, the operations manager of Rivercrest Community Development District. “Our facilities and fields offer all of the amenities PROtential needs to thrive. We look forward to sharing in the excitement and watching the camp impact the lives of children both now and in future.”

For more information on summer camps or upcoming fall after school programs, contact 843-9460 or visit


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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!