Coach Harry Elifson has worked with underprivileged students throughout his career. First as a coach at inner city high school, Boga Ciega, in St. Petersburg, FL and at several colleges mainly in the Southeast. Coach Elifson is known for his rapport with the athletes he works with as his entire career has been devoted to helping them reach their goals. Currently, as director of PASS, he sees the need to provide financial support to promising athletes.
“Many talented athletes are not able to improve their basketball skills beyond what is offered at a public school as many cannot afford the fees to tournaments where they can compete at a higher skill level” say Coach Elifson. “Unfortunately, many promising athletes are left behind because of their inability to pay.
Working along with Coach Elifson is PASS partner, Scott Reed. Scott has provided financial support to many of Coach Elifson’s teams and is a major cheerleader for the young women. “Scott is a great role model for the young athletes and their families,” says Coach Elifson. “He demonstrates giving back to the community by being involved with the kids and local politics while being a successful businessman.”
The PASS Fund offers scholarships to basketball camps for young women who show athletic promise, but are not able to afford the camp fees. The camps provide them that opportunity to play, and participating in sports has shown an increase in positive behaviors in athletes. For many students from low income families, sports provide an avenue for future success by athletic scholarships to attend college or the soft skills needed for gainful employment after high school.
Camps will be held throughout the Southeast, targeting athletes in 4-12th grade including cities such as Tampa, Miami, and Atlanta. From these camps, regional and national teams could be formed to complete in tournaments across the United States. The traveling opportunities will allow the kids to experience a variety of cultures and lifestyles.
PASS recognizes that finances are a barrier to many talented athletes. A scholarship to a tournament or camp could make a big difference in a young woman’s life and career.