Bobby Rodriguez owns and operates a fitness training facility but what he tries to strengthen goes beyond the physicality of the athletes.
Throughout the first 10 years of Jet Sports Training, Rodriguez has tried to stay in step with his hometown and give back through various projects in an attempt to make his community stronger.
Jet Sports Training’s first Athlete Recognition Banquet was held last week at the Arizona Student Union, and his business recently launched the non-profit Jet Sports Training Foundation that awards “financial support to underserved youth to participate in athletic training, purchase equipment, and cover costs of other related academic/athletic activities,” as stated at the foundation’s Web site.
“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. Those three athletes for the next six months can train here at Jet.”
Rodriguez took part in the interview for this story on Monday in the midst of training Arizona running back Stevie Rocker at the facility located near south of Park Avenue and Ajo Way (4221 S. Santa Rita Ave., Suite 103).
Rocker, a former Canyon del Oro standout, is one of many Arizona athletes who trains with Rodriguez. The list has included Anthony Pandy, Jamarye Joiner and Ira Lee. Rodriguez is a former Wildcat, walking on during the Mike Stoops era 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 at Texas), Cholla grad Daniel Robledo (now a lineman with Missouri) and Sunnyside wrestling great Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State two-time NCAA champion) are among the long list of established athletes who train with Rodriguez.
— Javier Morales (@JavierJMorales) May 24, 2022
Rodriguez said last week’s athlete-recognition banquet, planned to be an annual event, drew about 150 people at the Student Union. The event was created as a way to thank the athletes and their parents for taking part in workouts at Jet Sports Training.
“I felt we owed it to the parents here at Jet and the athletes at Jet to give something back for their hard work,” he said. “I understand that it’s a sacrifice bringing these kids here (and) paying for these kids here.
“Therefore, we just wanted to return the favor and show gratitude.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales 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 articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.