Photos Courtesy of Christian Beiter The program received a donation from the Riverview Chamber of Commerce.

Coach Christian Beiter believes that sports can have a big impact on a child’s life. About a year ago he started the South County Spartans Athletic Program. Wrestling and golf were the first two sports offered by the program. They are also now in the process of starting registrations for football. The program emphasizes academics as well as athletics. “We believe that competitive sports teach kids discipline, hard work, perseverance and team-building,” Beiter said. “Basically all of the characteristics that a person would need to have a successful life after high school.”

All of the programs are based and located in the South Shore area. Wrestling is held at the Gardenville Recreational Center and golf is located at the Summerfield Crossings Golf course. A field is now being finalized for football as well. The program has about 12 board members, as well as about 20 to 25 coaches.

Depending on the sport, children from the ages of 4-14 can be a part of the program. About 20 kids are currently involved in the wrestling program, which is completely free, but the maximum capacity of students has been reached, until another wrestling mat is funded. The golf program is a six-week program that costs only $50. Sponsorships have also been provided for the kids that can’t afford to pay. About 140 kids will be a part of the new football and cheer programs. “Our goal is to make this program as inexpensive as possible, so that any kid that wants to participate in any of the sports we offer, can,” Beiter said.

Academics are just as important to the South County Spartans Athletic Program as athletics are. As a part of their honor roll program, kids can earn a free hour of bowling and an arcade card from the Alley at South Shore if they make their school’s honor roll. Every quarter the program recognizes athletes who make the honor roll, and they are working on finding more sponsors to provide incentives for the kids. They are in the process of adding potential tutoring services.

According to Beiter, the South County Spartans Athletic Program is looking to expand, possibly offering track and lacrosse to the program in the near future.

For more information on registration events, or if you would like to help sponsor the program or donate, you can visit their Facebook page called South County Spartans Athletic Program. The program is also currently looking for about 10 more cheer coaches and 10 more football coaches, as well as track and lacrosse coaches. Please reach out via Facebook if you are interested in coaching.

“Without the support of my board-members, coaches and the community, I wouldn’t be able to do this,” said Beiter.

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.