By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/6/12
In just over three years of operation, the LEAPS (Lacrosse Education Attitude Perseverance Success) program, a 501 c 3 non-profit foundation, has spread the game of lacrosse throughout the Philadelphia region’s inner cities and underserved areas.
LEAPS was founded by John Christmas, Eric Gregg and Billy McKinney, former professional players from the Philadelphia region. Christmas is now working as a coach and lacrosse trainer in San Francisco and continues to spread the game to youths in underserved areas.
The LEAPS’ mission is to enrich the lives of youth through lacrosse and education, as well as instill the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. All of which will, in turn, help them develop a positive worldview. LEAPS will show that with hard work on and off the field, anyone can be successful. LEAPS has been instrumental in the creation of the Philadelphia Public High School Lacrosse League which now boasts 14 teams. Through school visits, equipment drives and donations, and FREE clinics, LEAPS has worked with teachers, volunteers and children to bring them the fastest game on two feet.
LEAPS continues its mission by announcing it is holding a FREE clinic series taking place at the William Penn Charter School. Dedicated to growing the game of lacrosse by increasing exposure, the LEAPS clinics will introduce the game of lacrosse to boys and girls ages 4-to-7. LEAPS will staff the clinics in collaboration with Big 4 Lacrosse and Triple H Lacrosse.
Where:Indoors at the William Penn Charter School Field House, 3000 W. School House Lane – Philadelphia, PA 19144
When: Sundays – 3/18, 3/25, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6
From: 1 – 2:30 pm
Who: Any Boy or Girl Ages 4-7
*No equipment or prior experience is necessary*
Space is limited! If you would like your child to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215.951.0330 ext. 2190.
The directors of the clinics are Eric Gregg and Billy McKinney, LEAPS co-founders, former professional lacrosse players, and full-time lacrosse trainers and coaches.
Eric Gregg – “The LEAPS curriculum has been taught to 15,000 boys and girls and counting in Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington. I am excited to introduce the sport of lacrosse to the next generation of city and suburban area student athletes. I would not be in the position I am today without lacrosse and I look forward to being able to give back to the game that has given me so much.”
Billy McKinney –“I grew up in Philadelphia playing football, baseball, basketball, tennis, and soccer. I was introduced to lacrosse in high school and earned a full scholarship to play lacrosse at the NCAA Division 1 level. I’ve coached and played at the youth, highschool, college, and professional levels. I am thrilled to give young kids from my hometown exposure to the game I love so much, and wish I was able to receive at their age.”
With the help of Christmas, a Maverik sponsored athletes, LEAPS has been using donated Maverik gear.
The LEAPS gear shown today includes:
Boathouse Friends and Benefits “Pro” Charity game uniforms and shorts
Maverik custom gear bag
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