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Jamal Smith IPS Athletics Director

Jamal Smith  Source: photog unknown/IPS Press Release

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@kwellscomm  PraiseIndy.com News & Sports —

Friday the 13th is a lucky day for local disabled veterans thanks to the staff and student/athletes at Indianapolis Public Schools 

Indianapolis Public Schools’ District Athletics Department, also known as ‘IPS Athletics’ is celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior with a ‘day on’ for area disabled veterans on the Friday before the national holiday honoring King.

IPS District Athletic Director, Jamal Smith, is leading the way with this Active Assist service project that gets the district’s student/athletes engaged away from their sports activities and in-service to the communities that they live in. It also challenges the athletic staffers to work, giving back in their communities. The work is about ‘off-the-field’ projects that provide support in areas where students through their familiarity know the areas of need. This inaugural event of IPS Athletics working in the program is being held at the Indianapolis Colts’ Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance training facility.

Smith said, “the ability and willingness to give back – despite circumstance – is a large part of the take-home message” for their student/athletes.

Indianapolis Colts 2011 Headshots

Former Colts Player & Businessman Gary Brackett  Source: Handout / Getty

IPS Athletics has partnered with others for results in this project, including former Indianapolis Colts player and local restaurateur Gary Brackett and local community outreach organization, Pro Act. Brackett is serving as a volunteer and is providing lunch from The Stacked Pickle. Pro Act is working with over 50 veterans to take part in the service project.

The event includes two portions, a field day and relationship building. Field day features five rotating stations focused on physical activity and fellowship while relationship building features discussions on topics which will give the former U.S. military vets an opportunity to open up, if they choose, to share their stories and perspectives.

This is Smith’s first year of is serving the state’s largest school district in the role of athletic director. Smith is the former executive director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.

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