IMG Academy' student activities program, launched in the fall of 2010, wraps up its first academic year this month with a series of events dedicated to graduating seniors. Building on the preparatory school model, IMG introduced a new student activities coordinator dedicated to ensuring life on campus afforded students the best opportunities for enjoyment and relaxation, as well as community involvement, when not training in the classroom or on the field or court. The new role has helped to both solidify and enhance the TOTAL ATHLETEâ¢ experience IMG has become famous for providing its athletes.
Former Disney World and Tampa Bay Rays Fan Experience employee Erin Wyer began in her now role as Head of Student Activities in September 2010, working in conjunction with IMG's Director of Student Service, Ash Ghaffari. Since coming on board, Wyer established the first-ever Student Activities Committee and has filled every day of the school calendar with multiple activities that appeal to students of all ages and interests. She and her team have created memorable standalone on-campus events like the IMG Block Party, as well as off-campus trips including Tampa Bay Rays, Buccaneers and Lightning games, theme parks like Busch Gardens and Universal Studios, concerts, beaches and more. Additionally, Wyer has created a number of reoccurring social opportunities including a widely popular dodge ball league, regular cooking nights, as well as 3-on-3 basketball games on the newly constructed IMG Sport Court - capable of also transforming into a volleyball court, shuffleboard venue and futsal surface.
Said Wyer, âOne of my biggest goals has been to create activities that bring students together across cultures and across sports to forge friendships. I am already seeing dodge ball teams made up of tennis and basketball players, and trivia teams bringing together golfers with members of U.S. Soccer's U17 program.â
Student Services Director Ash Ghaffari notes community involvement is at an all-time high: âStudents are more united across sports now and so are more inclined to come together for causes outside their sports. From working with the area Special Olympics to Goodwill to our own on-campus green initiatives, we are bringing together athletes on a weekly basis like never before.â
Upcoming initiatives include a charity-based Guinness Book of World Records attempt for greatest number of people bouncing a tennis ball on a racquet at one time. Planning is also underway for an Amazing Race-style campus-wide competition.