The Tampa Bay Bolts, a 10U travel baseball team based in the Land O' Lakes/Lutz area, is rallying community parents to participate in Liberty Mutual's Responsible Sports program.
Participation involves reading a short guide on responsible sport parenting or coaching, then completing a 10-question quiz to earn a certification as a Responsible Sports Parent or Responsible Coach. To begin, start here.
Anyone can participate, regardless of team affilliation. Once the certification is complete (it takes just a few minutes), you can designate the Tampa Bay Bolts to earn the credit.
"Fifteen youth sport organizations with the most credited certifications will earn a Responsible Sports Community Grant to help defray the many costs of running a successful youth sports program," the program's website states.
The team's manager, Mike Weaver of Land O' Lakes, along with two other coaches, started the team two years ago after participating in Little League for several seasons "to give the boys a more competitive baseball experience," his wife, Alisa Weaver, said.
The team plays double headers and tournaments in the Bay area, she said.
"As a travel team, it is very expensive to go to tournaments, pay for umpires and rent fields, so sponsors, fundraisers, and grants can help offset the cost for our families," Alisa Weaver said.
If the Bolts earn the $2,500 grant, the team has plans to step up their game.
"If we win this grant, we would use the money to start a fund for the team to be able to participate in a higher level tournament like Cooperstown or Disney's Wide World of Sports," Alisa Weaver said.
The spring grant period opened March 1, and is "open to any nonprofit youth sports organization or educational athletic program," according to the website.