Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Two Southlake-Based Teams Made it to the 2022 Under the Lights Flag Football National Championships!

The Under Armour Under the Lights Flag Football program is one of our incredible Athletics programs available to our community.

Under the Lights Flag Football, powered by Under Armour, is a national youth flag football league for kids in K-8th grades. Fun is guaranteed, and they emphasize promoting a competitive, confidence-building, non-contact experience for boys and girls of all skill levels.

After a fun and challenging summer season, our teams headed to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Our Flag Football teams competed in the 2022 Under the Lights Flag Football National Championships from July 22-24, 2022. Two of our Southlake teams took home the Championship Title this year.

The Miami Dolphins, coached by Ryan Aldridge, finished 7-1 in their Division and won the 3-4th Grade Playoffs in dominating fashion with a 35-0 win over the San Francisco 49’ers, a 42-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys, and a 41-6-win vs. the Baltimore Ravens in the Championship game.

The New England Patriots, coached by Doug Phillips, finished division play 8-0 and won their two games (after a first-round bye) 26-20 over the Las Vegas Raiders and 18-0 over the Dallas Cowboys in the Championship game.

We are proud of our Southlake-based teams for taking home the Championships this summer! The fun’s not over yet, however!

Registration for Fall 2022 Under the Lights, presented by Southlake, is now open for registration. The season runs from September 10- October 29, 2022. The playoffs will take place on November 5, 2022. Claim your spot before August 15. Register here!

Fall into Fall Recreation: Registration Opens in August!

It’s scorching hot in Texas, but we are already gearing up for a Fall season full of outstanding recreation programs.

If you like to plan as we do, mark your calendars for Fall Registration:

  • August 1st for Southlake Residents
  • August 15th for Non-Residents

The change of season will bring about exciting new programs and community-loved classics. Nature lovers rejoice! Our programming at the Bob Jones Nature Center has something for everyone. Athletes can sharpen their skills with brand-new athletic clinics such as Soccer Sparks and Run, Jump, and Throw- Intro to Track and Field! Let’s not forget our Fall Youth Athletics Leagues. Whether it’s a kid’s first season, or they are a seasoned pro, the fall sports leagues are sure to be a slam dunk! There are brand new STEAM programs to look forward to like iCode Tech Club, STEAM LAB, and Pokemania for the creatively curious!

It’s not all about the kids, however! Our Fall recreation programming includes something for adults of all ages. If you’ve always wanted to master iconic Bollywood dance skills, then our two new Adult Bollywood Dance classes are for you! Our free Adult Outdoor Education programs at the Nature Center are on the roster again! Let’s not forget our 55 and better community. The Senior Activity Center has some world-class programs coming up in the fall that are sure to fill up fast!

This Fall season will be one for the books! Don’t miss out on your chance to register for these incredible programs. Do you want to get priority registration and a 20% discount on all programs offered at Champions Club? Join Champions Club today to snag your spot and save!

We can’t wait for another season of forming life-long memories with you! Preview our upcoming programs today.

Meet The New Athletics Supervisor, Jonathan Weeks!

Every true sports fan knows that there is no “I” in “team” and that teamwork is integral to bringing home the gold.

Our new Athletics Supervisor is no stranger to teamwork and commitment to excellence. Jonathan Weeks exemplifies our city values and brings a plethora of valuable Park and Recreation and Athletics experience to our department. We are thrilled to welcome this new member to our Community Services team.

Let’s get to know him a little bit better.

What is your Parks and Recreation career journey?
I began my Parks and Recreation journey as a summer camp counselor with the City of College Station. I was pursuing a B.S. in Sport Management at Texas A&M at the time. My boss and mentor, Mr. Lance Jackson, encouraged me to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration if I was serious about building my career in Parks and Rec. I obtained my MPA, with a focus on local government, at Ohio State University while interning with the Parks and Recreation Department at the City of Dublin. After graduating, I began my full-time career with the Town of Prosper, where I wore various different hats!

What do you love most about Athletics/ Parks and Recreation?
I love the personal interactions I get to have working in Parks and Recreation! We are often one of the most front-facing departments for our cities, and I take that responsibility very seriously. We also get to have a little fun while working, who wouldn’t like that!?

What are you most excited about for your new position?
Southlake has set a tradition of excellence, and I am thrilled to contribute to the world-class service we strive for every day! I am also excited to work with such a quality group of people to provide these services to the community of Southlake!

Tell us a fun fact about you.
You do not want to play me in Pickleball…Take that as you will!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to hang out with my lovely fiancé, Kelly, my dog, Miles, and my cat, Kevin! You can catch me at a sporting event, traveling, or playing video games when I’m not with my family!

What can participants look forward to for future athletic programs?
My goal is to provide safe, high-quality, and, most importantly, FUN programs and leagues for Southlake! We will strive to be innovative and creative in what we do while always keeping in mind the Southlake Way of excellence that our community rightfully expects.

Welcome to the team, Jonathan! We know you will hit it out of the park with your new position as the Athletics Supervisor for Community Services.

City of Southlake Athletics Wins the Gold Member City Award

It’s been a month full of good news for the Community Services Department!

The Athletics team recently won this year’s Gold Member City Award from the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF). The Gold Member City Award recognizes significant participation, support, and involvement with TAAF. Last year, the Athletics division registered 177 teams: 45 Volleyball, 112 Flag Football, and 20 Basketball teams!

The Texas Amateur Athletic Federation is a nonprofit organization that promotes, organizes, and conducts amateur athletics in the State of Texas. Their mission is to create and maintain in the State of Texas a permanent organization representative of amateur athletics and/or organizations devoted thereto; to establish and maintain the highest ideals of amateur sports in the State of Texas; promote the development of physical education and encourage the standardization of rules of all amateur athletics, games, and competitions.

Southlake is proud to be a member city. Thanks to this partnership, our teams can participate in regional and state tournaments hosted by TAAF. Moreover, our staff members receive access to training and continuous education to continue providing world-class experiences to Southlake athletes.

Here’s what our Athletics Team had to say about winning this award.

“It’s exciting to be recognized as a leader for youth sports in our area. To receive an award for our high levels of participation is a great reflection of our team and overall athletics program! We want to use sports to impact as many people as possible. It’s awesome to know we are making a difference in the lives of the people of this community, especially the kids!” Leigh Blake, Athletics Supervisor

Congratulations to Leigh and Chelsea for being recognized state-wide for their outstanding efforts in athletics. We are honored to receive this award and love providing world-class athletics opportunities to Southlake residents. We are proud to be a part of the award-winning Team Southlake.

Volunteer at the Flag Football Opening Weekend!

Calling all sports lovers and volunteer superheroes!

There is a fantastic opportunity to earn up to 4.5 volunteer hours in one day helping our Athletics Department during Flag Football Opening Weekend.

If you love sports and giving back to your community, this is the opportunity for you! We are looking for 10 volunteers to help us kick off Flag Football during our Opening Weekend on Saturday, September 18, from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm at North Park. Volunteers will help the coaches by handing out jerseys, working at the concession stands, and performing other tasks as needed.

You must be registered on Volunteer Southlake and have gone through our Community Services Department Virtual Orientation to register. Learn more about how to volunteer here.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Flag Football Opening Weekend, please email Milenka Lopez by September 17 at 3:00 pm. Positions will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to give back to local athletes while earning volunteer hours!

Our Flag Football season runs until November 13, and there are volunteer opportunities available each Saturday.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Falling into Jiu-Jitsu: Sign up for Adult Jiu-Jitsu this Fall

The summer celebrations came and went, and now is the perfect time to fall into a new routine!

Adult Jiu-Jitsu is back in September and October, and if you’ve been waiting for a sign to start a new hobby, this is it! Our Adult Jiu-Jitsu class is designed for beginners with little or no experience. In this class, you will learn basic moves, positions, and the fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu. Alongside our experienced instructor, you will learn step-by-step techniques and build a strong foundation in jiu-jitsu.

There are many benefits of practicing Jiu-Jitsu, and it’s never too late to start! The physical benefits are similar to those reaped from other martial arts. Due to its highly rigorous nature, it’s no surprise that Jiu-Jitsu helps with physical conditioning. You will get a cardio, stretch, resistance, and breath workout in a typical practice.

In addition to improving strength and condition, Jiu-Jitsu teaches you self-defense after several years of practice. Who doesn’t want to be prepared at all times? If nothing else, Jiu-Jitsu teaches you proper falling techniques to avoid injury. Hopefully, you’ll never have to defend yourself from a bad guy, but at least you’ll be able to show those pesky stairs who’s boss the next time they try to trip you up.

You may already know the physical benefits of practicing Jiu-Jitsu, such as burning calories, improving flexibility, and building strength. However, there are multiple mental health benefits as well. Jiu-jitsu teaches patience and discipline due to the importance of timing and rhythm in the Jiu-Jitsu technique. Jiu-Jitsu also helps reduce stress, which is vital to building patience and discipline.

The benefits of learning Jiu-Jitsu are undeniable. If the physical and mental advantages didn’t convince you, then keep in mind that learning a new skill and perfecting a hobby is fun! If nothing else, give yourself the satisfaction of challenging yourself in new ways. You may even meet some great friends along the way.

Adult Jiu-Jitsu starts on September 8 and runs through October 27. Practices are held on Wednesdays from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Champions Club Premier Studio. Register here.

See you on the mat!

Our Park and Recreation Story: The Athletics Dream Team

July is National Park and Recreation Month. There are many stories to tell about the professionals that dedicate their career to creating life-long memories for your families.

Today, we are featuring the dream team that oversees Athletics here at the City of Southlake. If you have ever signed up for an Athletics program in Southlake, then you’ve benefitted from the work of Leigh Blake and Chelsea Cherry!

Leigh and Chelsea manage the athletics programs you love, such as BaseballTots, Basketball Skills Academy, and the athletic leagues. They share a passion for sports, bringing our community together, and creating world-class experiences for Southlake’s young athletes.

Athletics is a staple division in many Parks and Recreation departments across the country. Not only does participating in athletics promote physical wellness, but communities that value sports are safer, healthier, and more socially bonded than passive communities. For many children, municipality athletic leagues and camps are the first contact they have with sports. That’s why Leigh and Chelsea take their job so seriously. Let’s get to know them a little better.

My Park and Recreation Story: Leigh Blake, Athletics Supervisor
I’m originally from Tennessee and grew up playing soccer and softball. I won a state championship in soccer and was a state champion bowler in high school. I moved to Texas four years ago to pursue a career in athletics. I have worked in various roles and sports, including USA Baseball, junior golf, campus, and community recreation.

The best part of my job is watching kids have fun and learn life lessons playing sports. One of my favorite memories at work comes from my time in junior golf. We hosted a tournament at TPC Sawgrass, and I selected the hole location for our event on the famous island green there!

My Park and Recreation Story: Chelsea Cherry, Athletics Coordinator
I’m from a small town in East Texas. I moved to DFW to attend Dallas Baptist University, where I graduated with a Master’s in Sports Management. I grew up around sports, specifically football, everything shuts down on Friday nights in a small town for the HS football game, and baseball, (my little sister was a collegiate softball player). My true love of sports came from competitive cheerleading.

I started tumbling classes when I was five years old, but I was a shy kid. I didn’t get the courage to join my gym’s cheer team until I was 15. In those few years that I competed, I got to experience winning multiple state and national championships. I also learned how to be confident, come out of my shell, be a part of a team, deal with wins and losses, and many other critical life skills that come with sports. This is what drew me into a career in athletics!

My favorite part of my job is working with our staff to help them learn skills and build character traits that will carry them far beyond their time with the City. The best memories at work are always on the first game night of each season. All the stress, hard work, time, and effort spent preparing come together to create an environment full of excitement and fun for the kids and families!

Thank you, Leigh and Chelsea, for being a part of our winning Park and Recreation Team!

Let the Games Begin! Spring Athletics is in Full Swing

Spring Athletics is in full swing at the Community Services Department, and the competition is heating up!

Athletic programs are a staple of any good Parks and Recreation department, and ours is no exception. Every season, Southlake residents can sign up for a myriad of leagues, classes, and camps to compete, play and perfect their favorite sport. From America’s pastime, basketball, flag football, to volleyball and everything in between, Southlake has it all!

This season, the Athletics Division is upping their game with the Girls’ Volleyball League and Youth Flag Football League. With these two programs growing more than ever, now is the perfect time to work on your athletic mastery. The Girls’ Volleyball League is open to ages 6-12 years old. Youth Flag Football has a league for each grade level from Kindergarten to 8th grade. The growth and success of these programs are indicative of the value our community places on youth sports.

Everyone knows that playing sports is fun, but there are multiple benefits associated with youth athletics. Playing sports improves physical, mental, social, and emotional development in children. For example, playing on a team helps kids learn crucial social skills like teamwork, leadership, and communication. Practicing and seeing visible improvements helps children develop healthy self-esteem and gain confidence while having a blast!

Not only does participating in youth athletics help kids today, but it also sets them up for success in the future. According to Aspen Project Play, physical activity during early childhood can have lasting positive effects throughout adulthood. For example, active children can score up to 40% on tests, are 15% more likely to go to college, and have lower levels of depression and self- derogation.

As adults, active children have 7-8% higher annual earnings, are more productive at work, and have a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. The individual benefits transfer to communities as well. Active communities tend to have higher property values, lower heart disease rates, and higher graduation rates.

There’s no denying that athletics plays a vital role in youth development and the building of healthy and strong communities. We are proud of our robust athletics programming and are looking forward to everything that’s to come. Make sure to keep an eye on our website and register for your favorite sport! Let the games begin!


Youth Athletics Now Enrolling for Winter/Spring 2020

Southlake Recreation is proud to offer a vast selection of engaging athletic programs for kids. Registration is now open for the Winter/Spring season. Here’s what’s coming up in early 2020.

Basketball Skills Academy | Ages 6-17
This class is designed to introduce athletes to basketball fundamentals. The goal is to excite young players about the game of basketball!

Session 1: January 6-27
Session 2: February 3-24
Session 3: March 2-30
Session 4: April 6-27
Session 5: May 4-May 18

>>Details and registration.

Volleyball Skills Academy | Ages 8-15
Bowman volleyball is a skill-based class that excites players about volleyball. Players are taught confidence and fundamental skills including serving, passing, setting, and hitting. The program uses games and drills to develop a love of the game while improving technique. Players need athletic shoes and a water bottle.

Session 1: January 7-28
Session 2: February 4-25
Session 3: March 3-31
Session 4: April 7-28
Session 5: May 5-26

>>Details and registration.

Little Dragon Jiu-Jitsu | Ages 5-18
The goal of this program is to teach children: respect, honor, commitment, self-control, physical fitness, coordination, compassion, positive attitude, and most importantly self-confidence. We are a life skills school that emphasizes on key values that will help students enhance their mental toughness to stand for what they believe in and the above goals. Through these values, we create a positive attitude of “Yes I Can!”

Session 1 : January 6 – February 17
Session 2: March 2 – April 15
Session 3: April 20 – June 1

>>Details and registration.

Skyhawks Multi-Sport Clinic | Ages 3-6
Our Multi-Sport clinics are designated to introduce young athletes to a variety of different sports in one setting. For this program we combine 2-3 sports into one fun-filled class. Athletes will learn the rules and essentials of each sport through skill-based games and scrimmages. By the end of the class, your child will walk away with knowledge of (2 or 3) new sports along with vital life lessons such as respect, teamwork, and self-discipline.

Session 1: January 8 – February 26
Session 2: March 25 – May 13

>>Details and registration.

SuperTots Soccer | Ages 3-6
This age division of SoccerTots concentrates on building core soccer skills and personal focus while introducing an element of light competition. The class uses creative games and kid-friendly drills to make the fundamentals of soccer fun and accessible for young children. Instructor-to-student ratio is kept small to maximize individual development and encourage players to get to know their teammates.

Session 1: January 10 – February 28
Session 2: March 27 – May 15

>>Details and registration.

TGA Premier Junior Golf Camp | Ages 6-17
Tee it up at golf class and discover how fun and exciting golf can be with TGA! Maximum student to coach ratio of 10:1 maintains a safe and fun environment. Coaches lead students through station-based drills and games that develop the fundamental skills of grip, putting, chipping and full-swing. Students participate in STEAM labs that allow them to explore academic concepts like gravity, force, and spin through the game. Golf is an individualistic sport so each player progresses through our five level program at their own pace.

February 4 – March 31

>>Details and registration.


For a full list of athletic programming, visit experiencesouthlaketexas.com/activenet.
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