The PCA Blog - Tampa Bay

Rays Up For PCA-Tampa Bay: Rays celebrate PCA Partnership


On Sunday, July 31st the Tampa Bay Rays hosted Rays-Up for PCA Day, celebrating the partnership between Positive Coaching Alliance-Tampa Bay and the Rays. 

Throughout the game, the Rays highlighted this partnership that makes a significant positive impact and has allowed PCA-Tampa Bay to rapidly expand the number of youth and high school sports organizations adopting PCA principles. The success of the PCA-Tampa Bay Chapter has been made possible by the generous support of the Rays organization.

Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) has set the standard for the Tampa Bay area when it comes to partnering with PCA-Tampa Bay. In the upcoming school year, PCA-Tampa Bay will facilitate a Character & Leadership Development Program in 27 HCPS high schools, educating 2,700 student-athletes on becoming a Triple-Impact Competitor®. In addition, over 1,200 high school coaches will receive PCA’s Double-Goal Coach® certification for the seventh consecutive year.

During Sunday’s pre-game ceremony, two graduates of King High School and PCA’s Character and Leadership Development Program, Alissia Griffin and Matthew Hibbert, threw out the first pitch. They were joined on-field by HCPS Superintendent Jeff Eakins, Director of Athletics Lanness Robinson and School Board Members Susan Valdes and Carol Kurdell.

FOX Sports Sun provided detailed coverage of Rays Up for PCA Day with a live, on-air story led by Todd Kalas. This was made possible by the national partnership between FOX Sports Supports and PCA.

The partnership between PCA-Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Rays has highlighted – and will continue to do so – the powerful impact sports have on the development of non-cognitive skills in youth and high school student-athletes. By working with the Tampa Bay community, and partners like HCPS, PCA-Tampa Bay will create a positive culture in youth and high school athletics that provides student-athletes with life lessons benefitting them long after their playing days have ended. PCA-Tampa Bay and the Rays share an infectious desire to unlock the potential of athletics allowing youth and high school sports to fulfill their promise as one of the most powerful character development vehicles.

During the game, leadership from Pinellas County Schools (PCS) met with their peers from HCPS to discuss the support that PCA-Tampa Bay provides their respective school systems. In 2015-16, PCA-Tampa Bay held workshops for coaches in all PCS high schools and will continue to grow the partnership in future years following the HCPS model. PCS Superintendent Dr. Michael Grego and Director of Athletics Nick Grasso joined HCPS leaders sharing the positive impact that PCA-Tampa Bay has already had on the culture of the athletic and school communities.

During the game, Rays broadcaster Neil Solondz spoke with Superintendent of HCPS Jeff Eakins, Director of Athletics for HCPS Lannes Robinson, and Executive Director of PCA-Tampa Bay Mark Sakalosky about the mission behind the Character and Leadership Development Program.

To hear the full interview, CLICK HERE.

To cap off a spectacular day, the game was punctuated by the Rays defeating the New York Yankees, completing a three game sweep of the division rivals…talk about RaysUp for PCA Day… the PCA Way.

Thank you to everyone who made Sunday, July 31 such an unforgettable day for HCPS and PCA-Tampa Bay!

Stay connected