Sports that Prepare U to be Responsible Students
As a Phys. Ed. Teacher at Blanton Elementary School in Pinellas County, Michael Wardlow (Coach Mike) wanted to do more than help the youth achieve physical fitness. His main goal was to help all students understand the critical importance of excelling both on and off the court. So in 2009, Coach Mike founded S.P.U.R.S. (Sports that Prepare U to be Responsible Students).
Starting with 12 at-risk youth, ranging from 3rd to 5th grade, and all of whom exhibited poor performance in school, Coach Mike initiated a curriculum that devoted 45-minutes to sports and 15-minutes to discussion. Students learned the basics of basketball while also enhancing skills and confidence. Discussion sessions gave students the opportunity to talk about any issues they were facing in school or at home. By the end of the school year, all participants from the program made the honor roll and had no further disciplinary actions taken against them. One student received the Turnaround Student Award, an honor given to a young person that has exhibited a positive change in both character and behavior. By 2011, S.P.U.R.S. had expanded from 12 to 72 youth.
Currently, Coach Mike is a Club Director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay and has further enhanced the program to include a team-focused competitive sports component - S.P.U.R.S. Elite Competitive Sports Club.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay serves more than 10,000 youth annually in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties and our doors are open Monday- Friday for young people between the ages of 5-18 years. Learn More
So you want to get involved with Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay? It just takes one. There are numerous ways that you can help our organization, whether it is through volunteering, making a donation, or applying for a career. Learn More
Steinbrenner Metro Service Center
1307 N. MacDill Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
Our events raise valuable funds that go directly back to our Clubs. There are many ways you can support us througout the year.