Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Going hard or going home

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Once upon a time, a shoe company came up with the slogan "Great athletes aren't born, they're made." For a long time, these six words graced posters of Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters, ads for Gatorade and running gear and glossies of protein bars aimed at marathon runners. Now it is the slogan of Velocity Sports Performance, a sport-performance training center with 75 locations, and a 2006 enrollment of nearly 47,000 kids. Why are these kids, some as young as 8, rushing in droves to be part of the sports performance training? "You can't get by with sitting around anymore," said Jordy Christian, an 18 year-old hockey player from North Dakota who was featured in the Fashion & Style section of today's New York Times . Renee, a 14 year-old from New Jersey who plays soccer on three teams agrees, even if signing up for the training was her dad's idea. "At first I didn't have a choice whether I wanted to go, [but] after a while, I really liked going there." Parents, of course, see it as an opportunity for their son/daughter to become the best player possible. Some, however, also see it as fiscally smart; sports performance training can give kids the advantage they need to get an athletic scholarship. Ron and Cassandra Suggs, who were interviewed for an article in the St. Louis Business Journal , say that they have spent $200 a week for the past four months on training for their two sons, Scott, 16, and Skyler, 14. A number of Division I colleges have expressed interest in the elder Suggs, whose goal is a full athletic scholarship. "A scholarship is a real possibility, and we want to give our kid an advantage," says his father. "When our son gets a scholarship to, say, the University of Illinois, that would cost us $100,000 for his education. If we don't have to pay any of that, it's been a great investment."
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