Dedication, determination and passion; three amazing qualities that our young scholarship recipients all have in common. Last week we dove in deeper and told you more about Peyton, this week it’s all about Austin.
Austin started participating in Jiu Jitsu last year in May. For the past year he has been training extremely hard. Most weeks he takes classes 6 times a week on top of doing extra work with a personal trainer twice a week.
We were told Austin’s’ most amazing qualities are his memory and ability to learn so quickly. He is able to truly focus on the techniques and movements, which in Jiu Jitsu need to happen quickly.
We are excited to hear how Austin does during his first competition this coming month on the 29th in Azusa. We will be sure to let you know how he does but we are expecting nothing but wonderful outcomes because of all his hard work, enthusiasm and want to be a good role model for his younger siblings. Thank you to his father who took the time to talk to us about all of this. We are looking forward to talking to his coach and trainer to learn even more to share with you!"
Each of our scholarship winners work extremely hard both academically and athletically, they've had a lot of love and support from family, friends, teammates, coaches, and trainers. We are happy to be a part of the support now! We wanted you to get to know each of them a little more now so we went a step further and wanted to take the time to talk to some of those supporters, specifically the coaches and trainers.
Peyton Dowdy our softball player and pitcher has been involved in the sport more than we realized. She has been playing since tee ball, went on to AAU and is now playing on a travel team. Her former Coach and President of the Tierra Canyon Girls Fastpitch Softball, Zach Lemley shared with us that him and his wife and seen her grow so significatnyly and have been coaching her since tee ball. Zach has also even coached Peytons' little sister. But Peyton is a natural athlete and has one of the prettiest bating swings, she won't hit a home run or bunt and try to get to first, Peyton hits it in the perfect spot in the outfield and really moves runs.
Yes we know her as a pitcher but Zach continued on to tell us she's an easy id to coach and doesn't complain, if you put her in a different position, she knows her job and gets it done.
Her current coach, Antonio Zuniga, for the Factory Fastpitch has been coaching her about a year now and she keeps improving, she's continuing to grow and said "Give her another year to develop and she'll be outstanding". He's extremely happy with her performance especially coming off the injury she had about a month ago while she was practicing diving. Him, Peyton and the team are on their way to Utah in about 3 weeks to play in the Nationals Tournament. We'll be cheering them on from here and try to let you know about how it goes!
Antonio has been coaching for over 18 years and wants all his players to grow as athletes and individuals, but to make it the college level. Both Antonio and Zach said Peyton has what it takes, she's extremely intelligent and has expressed going to college already. She watches certain college teams already and has a few preferences but we can't tell you where just yet!"
This past January the Randy Jones Youth Athletic Scholarship Program was launched and 3 wonderful and talented children of service members were awarded $5000 towards their athletics endeavors. We got a chance to talk to the parents but also the children themselves.
Sienna Blanche is the track and swimming super star. Sienna shared with us that she started swimming very young and in middle school decided that track would help her, As she got a little older she really enjoyed it and kept with both. “ Playing sports allows me to develop a good sense of how to work hard and allows me to have fun with my friends and teammates.”
Austin Ray is the Brazilian Jui Jitzu king, he started at a kids seminar and really started to enjoy the sport. Austin says helps with his health and weight while also giving him a distraction from helping with his 5 siblings. He gets along with his teammates and is enjoying making all the new friends.
Lastly but not least is Peyton, our softball champ. She started out playing tee ball and did it just to make friends but loves softball now because she can get her mind off everything else in life and just focus on playing ball. It’s her opportunity to be herself.
All three have mentioned the scholarship is pushing them to be better academically and athletically. The athletes are happy and so are their parents, one of the parents said they’ve seen academic scholarships for military families but this is the first program that they’ve heard of that focusing on providing and funding athletic outlets for children.
We’re extremely happy to be apart of helping these athletes and their families achieve their athletic goals while keeping them motivated in school. Stay tuned because we’ll be talking to their coaches and instructors soon and continuing to follow and share their journeys with you!
To find out a little more and see pictures click on the links Sienna, Austin, Peyton
If you have followed the Randy Jones Foundation for the past few years then you have seen some of the events that are organized to bring military children and their parents who have been recently deployed back together for something out of the ordinary and fun.
Last Wednesday, May 30th a group of military families attended the Padres game against the Miami Marlins. It was a day filled with family fun. All the military families in who were attending were told to meet at Petco Park. Families were also told where to park as well as where to meet.
Upon arrival, everyone was greeted by Randy, given a gift bad and walked through the tunnel directly onto the field. Getting the opportunity to be up close and personal while the players warmed up for the game. Of coarse tons of photos were taken and the kids got some autographs.
After some time on the field and some dinner, everyone made it to their seats and prepared for the game! The first few innings started slow until the Marlins scored two runs. However, the Padres made a come back and won the game!
Long story short, the day was a complete success from start to finish. Everyone enjoyed the game and some of the children had such a wonderful time that it as all they could talk about to their parents the next day!