We Don't Bluff – Bluff City Sports Blog

Grizz-Fit Empowerment: Lester Community Center


GrizzFit: Empowerment Zone

The GrizzFIT Empowerment Zone is designed to provide 3-8th graders from the Binghampton community with on-site access to a variety of after-school activities that promote fun, fitness and friendship.  Each elective is eight weeks long and progressive, introducing new skills each week.

Joerger, who started playing tennis when he was nine, will visit with kids around he same age and coaches participating in the GrizzFIT Empowerment Zone at Lester Community Center.   Coach Joerger was introduced to Tennis Memphis program and the NJTL (National Junior Tennis & Learning) while researching tennis summer camps for his kids.

Coach Joeregr said the following about his experience with Tennis Memphis:  “I started on a Monday and by Wednesday when I came back, the kids their heads were up, their shoulders were back and they are hearing positive  things said to them about themselves.  Everybody has good energy, they feel good and their self esteem comes up.  It really touched me and that’s why I got involved.  It’s something that I think can help our community.”

Tennis Memphis offers tennis as one of the many electives available in the GrizzFIT Empowerment Zone – the Memphis Grizzlies’ newest youth development program at Lester Community Center.  Watch the video below to see Grizzlies Head Coach Dave Joerger play tennis with and address the participants in the Empowerment Zone.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Joel Katz of the Grizzlies Foundation.  “GrizzFit is all about leveraging relationships that coaches have with young people in order to teach and reinforce life skills.  Kids are meeting new friends, engaging with their coaches,and learning new skills. Each week of camp includes a life skill component.  The Empowerment Zones features traditional and non traditional sports.  The reason for the non traditional sports is to give kids an opportunity to learn the skills associated with the sports that they may not otherwise be exposed to.”  Katz also stated that they basically try to extend the school day from3pm to 5 p.m  teaching kids skills and lessons that aren’t taught in the classroom.

The program runs from September thru May.  Preparations for summer programs are currently under way.  For more information about GrizzFIT and the Grizzlies Foundation, visit GrizzliesFoundation.com.



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