As part of the IMG Academy training methodology, it’s crucial to develop more than high-performing student-athletes. We strive to develop leaders with a strong moral fiber.
Student-athletes need balance in their lives. Campus life at IMG Academy includes both character building programs and activities that bond student-athletes from around the world.
Where the fun begins with Emily Rickerson, Activity Coordinator at IMG Academy
As half of the dynamic duo (with Melanie Cabassol) who was hired earlier this year to manage on- and off-campus activities for student-athletes, Emily Rickerson could not have been more excited when talking about her position at IMG Academy.
The University of Florida grad studied Family, Youth and Community Sciences, “the same major as Tim Tebow,” she boasts. After stints working with the University of Florida as well as the Orlando Magic, Rickerson found a passion in working with children after organizing activities for elementary school children. Soon after earning her Master’s degree in 2011, Rickerson would continue to pursue that passion, finding a home at IMG Academy.
“These student-athletes are in a very structured environment for most of the day with training and conditioning but we have this great opportunity to be their ‘fun’ with both on and off-campus activities,” she says.
With on-campus activities such as dances and karaoke nights and off-campus activities that include theme park trips and Tampa Bay Rays games, Rickerson takes pride in giving kids creative ways to relax and have a little fun.
“We are really trying to mix it up with our activities this year,” she says. She would go on to explain IMG Academy’s first-ever “Gross Games” that included, among other things, finding gummy bears in tubs of oatmeal using only your toes.
While Rickerson is having a blast this summer, she says that there are big things still to come. How big? “We’re going to try and set some world records!”
IMG Academy offers no shortage of activities to catch the interest of any student-athlete. Trivia competitions? Movie nights? Fashion shows? Video game stations? IMG Academy has it all. The hub of activity in the evenings on campus revolves around the dorm common areas and the junior pool area, which includes swimming, the recreation room (which includes video games, foosball, pool table) and the newly constructed Sport Court, which offers basketball, volleyball, soccer and more – all on a recreation level.
We strongly encourage all student-athletes to participate in on-campus activities to enjoy the full IMG Academy experience. Not only do the activities provide entertainment, but they allow student-athletes from different sports and cultural backgrounds to become friends, creating a more unified campus.
The state of Florida attracts millions of visitors every year because of its beaches, amusement parks, cultural attractions and other amenities. Student-athletes at IMG Academy get to experience all of them with frequent supervised trips to some of the nation’s top beaches, shopping malls, Busch Gardens, Disney World and other destinations.
One of the most treasured traditions is the IMG Academy prom held every spring, for which immaculately dressed students gather at the front of campus before traveling to one of the area’s top gathering spots for a night of celebration.
“We are one giant family on campus, regardless of background or culture. We are all there to support and encourage one another.”