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Orlando Magic has been recognized for its positive impact on local youth

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ORLANDO – Hosted by WFTV Channel 9 newscaster Jamie Holmes on YouTube, the 2021 Crystal Awards recognized individuals, organizations and businesses in the central Florida community who have gone out of their way to help Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) students achieve their full potential Realize potential.

Among the winners were the Orlando Magic and the team’s nonprofit arm, the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF), which has donated more than $ 26 million to local nonprofits over the past 31 years to empower and empower youth To provide resources that they need to make available for a better and more promising future.

“From their possessions to their leadership to their players, they are 100 percent invested in the children of this community and in public education because they know this is the road to success,” said Scott Howat, chief communications officer Officer for OCPS and the President of the Foundation for OCPS. “You are so focused on making an impact on the youth and youth in this church, and our job is to educate our young people. Putting OCPS and Orlando Magic together makes our little kids magical. ”

In the past year alone, the magic has had a tremendous impact on OCPS students through a variety of programs and events including the MAGIC Four-Week Fit Challenge and the Magic of Mentoring program.

A month ago, Magic and Florida Technical College attended this year’s award-winning fitness challenge, Hunter’s Creek Elementary School. You were one of 21 schools that participated in the program and one of 11 schools that completed the challenge with 100 percent participation.

The four-week fitness challenge MAGIC Fit is an incentive-based training program for children that was developed in 2014 by the Magic strength and conditioning team. Schools in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties are invited to participate in the program. Due to the pandemic, the grand prize ceremony had to be changed. In recent years, the winning school received a MAGIC Fit Fun Day with various competitions and exercises organized by Magic in the school’s gym. Schools that achieve 100 percent student participation in the four-week challenge will be enrolled to win the MAGIC Fit Fun Day as a reward for students and faculty for their commitment to the program.

MAGIC Fit was the team’s first fitness and nutrition program for teenagers. As per NBA FIT guidelines, the goal of the program is to improve knowledge of healthy eating habits and fitness exercise among at-risk children in the area. Promoting physical activity and healthy living for children and families, NBA FIT is a comprehensive health and wellness platform that promotes healthy, active lifestyles for children and adults.

“This is a great thing. Just giving the kids a sense of responsibility and that lets them know you are having fun and can be rewarded for training, ”said Bo Outlaw, Magic Community Ambassador, during the celebration at Hunter’s Creek. “I think that’s a big deal. This is the way they train and they really don’t think they are working out, getting in shape (and) getting fit (because they are having fun) and if we can reward them that’s a great thing. ”

The Magic of Mentoring initiative aims to narrow the performance gap between minority men in central Florida by providing educational experiences, contact with careers in sports, and mentoring. Since the program began, over 750 minority male youths have attended the Magic’s Minority Male Youth Summit and learned from prominent male minority leaders in the region.

Last year, Edgewater High School and Jones High School students participated in a seasonal virtual program where they were mentored by a minority male Magic employee.

Other team efforts in support of OCPS last year include donating residual items from the NBA bubble at Disney such as jerseys, athletic equipment and Gatorade products to students. Distribution of 2,700 Magic basketballs to 15 schools; Organization of a STUFF Buckle UP Dance Challenge at five schools with the help of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; and promoting reading as part of Magic’s Pick, Read & Roll program by broadcasting some informative and fun videos to schools featuring STUFF the Magic Mascot, Nick Anderson and Outlaw.

“I can tell you that when you work for Orlando Magic and are part of not just the leadership scene but the team itself, there is a pride, an honor to be part of that team and one of the things we feel , is that we’re all in it, ”said Linda Landman Gonzalez, vice president of community and government affairs for Magic.

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Janet Smith