By Amanda Boston
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children and adolescents do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. For 14 years, PROtentional Sports has assisted children in Tampa Bay achieve this fitness goal with its after-school and summer camp sports programs.
Since its launch in Heritage Isles in 2003, the franchise has expanded into 14 different locations throughout the Tampa Bay area. Tony and Nyree Bland are the proprietary owners and operators of PROtentional Sports. A Florida native, Tony was a former football player for the Minnesota Vikings, and his wife, Nyree, a highly ranked junior tennis player who reached professional status.
From their experience, the couple witnessed how lessons on the sports field often translated to real life situations. They developed a sports franchise centered on teaching life skills through sports.
“We are teaching life skills and are not trying to crank out superstar athletes. The students get better at sports by being exposed to it every day through enthusiastic and talented coaches,” stated Julie Garretson, the district manager for PROtentional Sports.
With a background in physical education and passion for sports, Garretson manages and trains the coaches. The coaching staff retains a few high-caliber athletes from the NFL, MLB, NBA and MLS. However, Garretson explained, “Not all great athletes make great coaches. We have to make sure the coaches are a good fit for the kids. The coaches all try out and go through training. Tony and Nyree are very hands-on and are still coaching. They take pride in what they do and want to make sure their coaches are working just as hard as they did when they first started.”
A typical day at summer camp begins at 9 a.m. with daily swimming, followed by sports skills and drills. At 12 Noon, the campers eat lunch and have a short relaxation period. Then from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the camp resumes with exciting sports activities and scrimmages.
Summer camp is available at the Riverview communities of Panther Trace and Rivercrest. The camps operate on a weekly basis from the first day of summer vacation through the last day of vacation. Camp hours are Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for ages 5 to 13 years with before and after care available at an extra cost. During the school year, after-school programs are available at the Riverview locations. For information, visit protentionalsports.com or call 843-9460.