Orlando foundation helps underprivileged kids play organized sports

Orlando Orthopaedic Center Foundation has raised $1.4 million towards initiative

By Paul Giorgio - Producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Orthopaedic Center Foundation improves the lives of undeserved children through sports. 

Its founder, Randy S. Schwartzberg, was on the campus of Timber Creek High School in Orange County last week helping to provide low-cost pre-participation sports physicals to the school's student-athletes. 

Schwartzberg and staff from the Orlando Orthopaedic Center volunteered their time to provide the service.

Around 300 students packed the gym to have their eyes, joints and respiratory systems checked by physical assistants, physical therapists and athletic trainers. The school charges a small fee, which goes back into the athletic department.  

"Our foundation is predicated on trying to help kids in sports and we really feel that all kids, regardless of their age, regardless of their financial situation, should have the opportunity to participate in sports," Schwartzberg said. 

According to the foundation's website, the Give Kids Sports initiative "helps underserved children participate in quality youth sports programs that foster sportsmanship, confidence, discipline, teamwork and injury prevention."

The foundation has raised $1.4 million since 2012.

"I played sports my whole life," Schwartzberg said. "And I think my love for participating in sports and watching sports has really drawn me toward the field that I'm in, sports medicine, and now we're able to give back in a little different way."

Schwartzberg and the foundation have given back. Each summer, the nonprofit provides scholarships for underserved children to attend sports-centered camps. This summer, 150 kids will be able to participate. 

"Sports are expensive to play nowadays," Schwartzberg said. "It's not like when we were kids. Now it's club sports. It's expensive to play sports and be able to participate in it year-round. So our goal is to help kids be able to do it. They should all have that opportunity that a lot of us have had." 

The Orlando Orthopaedic Center Foundation relies on individual, corporate and local business donations to further its mission.  

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