Summer sports academy allows area children fit opportunities

Kathleen Cunningham

Children have the chance to stay fit at the 10th-annual Lifetime Sports Academy at Missouri Southern.

“The nice thing about it is it gives the community’s kids a wide variety of abilities the chance to succeed in future activities,” said Patty Vavra, assistant professor of kinesiology and director of the Lifetime Sports Academy.

The Lifetime Sports Academy will take place June 6-9 for children ages seven to 12.

“We hope that gives them a chance to enhance the quality of their life through learning a variety of activities they can participate in for a lifetime,” Vavra said.

Activities will take place at a number of different sites such as Young Gymnasium, the athletic fields, Range Line Golf and Bowl East. Frisbee, golf, bowling, rope jumping and archery will be offered to the children during the summer event. An optional free swim will be available daily as well.

“It grows every year, and kids love it,” said Pat Lipira, head of the kinesiology department and director of Lifetime Sports Academy.

“The biggest request we get it to do it all summer and all day, which is not possible.”

Lipira said children and grandchildren of Southern’s staff have participated in the event. She also said all children can participate, including children with disabilities.

“You don’t have to have athletic ability,” she said. “The kids don’t have to be a good athlete to enjoy themselves, and it teaches the children a variety of lifetime activities they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.”

On June 9, there will be a Parent’s Day, where parents are invited to watch, take photos and visit with their children.

Students who are physical education and health promotion majors also help with Lifetime Sports Academy in which they serve as camp counselors and activity directors.

“[It] gives them great experience for their future positions,” Vavra said.

Children must supply their own swimming suits, towels and concession money, and they also must be dressed to play in the activities. All other equipment will be supplied by the department of kinesiology.

Lifetime Sports Academy is $65, which will cover the four days, insurance and a T-shirt. The pre-registration deadline is June 1. No registrations will be taken at the door.

For more information, contact Vavra at 625-3063 or Lipira at 625-9573. There is also information on