sgcityrec.orgThree-time Olympic Gold Medalist Leah Amico will host a youth clinic May 15 at 5 p.m. at Canyons Complex in St. George. She will also speak at a banquet May 16 at 7 p.m. the Dixie State University Gardner Center to welcome teams competing in the 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Softball National Championship Tournament, which takes place May 17–20.

The youth clinic will provide local female athletes a unique opportunity to learn from an Olympic champion and highly skilled college athletes. The emphasis is on giving any young athlete in the Washington County community an affordable way to participate.

“I think one of the best messages that we can give to young athletes is beyond the value of what they are doing in their athletic careers and with their talents now,” Amico said. “At the NJCAA Tournament, the players need to be in the moment. But the fans, the young girls (and even the boys) who come to watch and come to learn, can also come to understand that while they need to play as well, they also need to enjoy the experience.”

Amico noted that young athletes can learn that the skills they gain from teamwork and sportsmanship are life skills and the beginning of their journey in life.

“My hope is that when parents bring their children to an event such as the NJCAA Tournament, with the clinics and home run derby, the youngsters become inspired,” Amico said. “When they see teams working together, they realize that it does not matter how different they are, what economic backgrounds they come from, what ethnic or religious groups they belong to, what position they play. All differences are put aside so that they can put forward the best performance possible.”

Discounted tickets for the banquet are available for Washington County residents for the tournament and can be purchased at St. George City Recreation Center by phone at (435) 627-4560. Resident tournament tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Clinic participants receive a tournament ticket as well as a sports card autographed by Amico with registration. Local youth interested in participating in the clinic can sign up at sgcityrec.org or by calling (435) 627-4560.

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Jason Gottfried is a freelance editor, writer, multi-instrumental musician, and composer transplanted to Utah from Nashville by way of Gainesville, Florida. He was formerly opinion editor of The Independent and wrote album reviews, opinion pieces, and satire news. Before that, he was editor of SOKY Happenings magazine and wrote a column, The Vociferous Vegan. He was also general manager of Nashville’s fabled The Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant and briefly co-owner of Gainesville's longtime staple vegetarian restaurant, Book Lover's Cafe. When he is away from the computer, he plays between Colorado and California as a live and session musician. His albums with Sean McDonald as ambient electroacoustic duo Vesica Piscis are streaming online: indolerecords.bandcamp.com/album/twin-yang mmmsound.bandcamp.com/album/optical-mystic He sexually identifies as an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter.