By Suzy Wiesenhart
Tony Bland, president and founder of PROtential Sports, was born and raised in St. Petersburg, attended Florida A&M University and ultimately played on the Minnesota Vikings football team for four years.
Bland’s vision in starting PROtential Sports allowed him to pursue his second passion: helping children learn life skills through sports. Respect. Honesty. Kindness. Compassion. Integrity. These are not just mere words at PROtential Sports–they are the values that parallel sports and life.
A franchise was purchased by the JAWS Family, LLC; comprised of Flo Jenkins, her husband and four children, whose names are Jenkins, Allen and Williams. Started in Rivercrest in Riverview, it has grown to leagues in Panther Trace. Jenkins said, “Each month, there is a Word of the Month, such as ‘teamwork’, so the children can learn what it means. The coaches are certified and former high school or college athletes or cheerleaders. The head coach is Marcus Williams who was a former Valdosta State Basketball player and referee.”
There are leagues and programs for NFL flag football, junior magic basketball, aquatics, soccer, golf, baseball, tennis and cheerleading. The NFL Flag Football League goes from November 2 through December 7, Saturdays only at Panther Trace Field for 5-15 year-olds from 9-11 a.m. There is a Winter Break Sports Camp at Panther Trace Clubhouse #1 from Monday, December 23-Friday, January 3 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The afterschool and summer camp curriculum that it developed stems from its unique perspective of competing in sports at a high level. It understands the importance of sports and physical activity. With students spending most of their day in the classroom or playing video games, there seems to be less and less time for physical exercise. Its belief is that when children are active in sports, they benefit by learning how to resolve conflicts, work as a team and set and reach goals.
Its customers are all between the ages of 5 and 12—and they are all very special.
Its goal is to provide character-building skills that will lead these kids to full and prosperous lives. You can call 400-4866 or visit www.protentialsports.com for more information.