Jets Sports Training: athlete recognition banquet, the foundation supports young people in the region

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Bobby Rodriguez owns and operates a fitness center, but what it tries to strengthen goes beyond athlete fitness.

Throughout the first 10 years of Jet Sports Training, Rodriguez tried to stay in tune with his hometown and give back through various projects in an effort to strengthen his community.

Jet Sports Training’s first Athlete Recognition Banquet was held last week at the Arizona Student Union, and his company recently launched the nonprofit Jet Sports Training Foundation which provides “financial support to underserved youth to participate in athletic training, purchase equipment, and cover the costs of other related academic/athletic activities,” such as listed on the foundation’s website.

“Every four months we honor a participant,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes if the dollars are right, we can honor more than one athlete. When we launched the foundation, we honored three athletes. These three athletes for the next six months can train here at Jet.

Rodriguez took part in the interview for this story on Monday amid the Arizona running back’s practice Steve Seesaw at the facility located near South Park Avenue and Ajo Way (4221 S. Santa Rita Ave., Suite 103).

Rocker, a former Canyon del Oro star, is one of many Arizona athletes training with Rodriguez. The last included Anthony Pandy, Jamarye Carpenter and Ira Lee. Rodriguez is a former wildcat, walking during the mike stoops after his accomplished career as a defensive back at Sunnyside.

NFL Receiver Jeff Cotton (Mountain View and Pima College standout), former Salpointe standout Bijan Robinson (Heisman candidate in Texas), graduate of Cholla Daniel Robledo (now lineman with Missouri) and Sunnyside struggle well Roman Bravo-Young (two-time NCAA champion Penn State) are among the long list of established athletes who train with Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said last week’s athlete recognition banquet, scheduled to be an annual event, drew about 150 people to the Student Union. The event was created to thank athletes and their parents for participating in Jet Sports Training.

“I felt we owe it to the parents here at Jet and the athletes at Jet to give something back for their hard work,” he said. “I understand it’s a sacrifice to bring these kids here (and) pay for these kids here.

“Therefore, we just wanted to return the favor and show our gratitude.”

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Javier Morales, publisher, writer and editor of ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com, is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star Beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News, and Baseball America, among many other publications. He is also the author of the book “The Highest Life Form”, which is available on Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is currently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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