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Second year of Sparky's Tour begins in September


August 03, 2009

Click here for more information on Sparky's Tour

Click here for a slideshow that shows some of the highlights of Sparky's Tour

Beginning Sept. 8, 2009, the Arizona State University Athletic Department will begin Sparky's Tour 2009-2010! Sparky's Tour is a way to directly reach out to Arizona youth by visiting local schools to encourage students to work hard, make positive choices, and spread good will. Tour stops will feature positive role models from Arizona State aiming to inspire students to strive toward excellence in the classroom and beyond.

"The primary objective of our program is to graduate our student-athletes," said ASU volleyball head coach Jason Watson. "School should always come first. Sparky's Tour provides a forum for us to share that message with thousands of school-age students. If just one student is motivated to be better in the classroom because of the Tour, then it's been a success."

In only its first year, during the 2008-09 school year, Sparky's Tour visited 32 Valley schools, interacting with nearly 20,000 students. Each tour stop featured a 45-minute program that included videos, guest speakers (student-athletes, alumni and staff), the ASU Spirit Squad and tons of fun.

During the program, guest speakers stressed the importance of education and making good decisions, while Sparky focused on how everyone can be a S.P.A.R.K.Y.: Self-starter, Positive, Active, Responsible, Knowledgeable, and Yourself. Sparky rewarded nominated students with special Arizona State University prizes and showed what it takes to be a Sun Devil. Sparky also performed for the crowd, doing push-ups and pitchforks and teaching them ASU cheers.

"All of the speakers talked about the importance of education and what education means in their lives," said ASU softball head coach Clint Myers. "Sparky's Tour was a very good experience for the elementary school kids, promoting the ASU spirit and getting the community involved with ASU athletics."

The opportunity to host Arizona State coaches, student-athletes, academic advisers and administrators excited local educators so much that requests for Sparky's Tour included groups of more than 1,000 local students at a time.

Sparky is looking forward to making the second year of Sparky's Tour bigger and better than the first. Sparky's Tour will be reaching out to more schools and Valley students to have an even greater impact.

The implementation of Sparky's Tour within Valley elementary and middle schools will be a positive influence for local youth and create support of Arizona State University Athletics. For more information on Sparky's Tour 2009-2010 log onto www.sundevilcentral.com and enter Sparky's Tour.