Tag Archives: Florida International Senior Games & State Championships

What To Watch For This Week In Florida Sports (February 24-March 2)

W2W4 LogoWATCH FOR Major League Baseball Spring Training Games to be played over the next 33 days in 14 Florida Locations.  During this glorious time of the year, the Florida Grapefruit League generates all sorts of wonderful storylines.

Such was the case in the early days of Florida Spring Training and sportswriters covering teams in the Sunshine State.  Having exotic Florida locales described in print was one of the first benefits of hosting a Major League Baseball Spring Training team.  
125 YEARS: TAMPA BAY THROUGH THE TIMES
The Florida Weekly describes how five sportswriters converged on Fort Myers to cover the 1925 Philadelphia Athletics and the long history of spring training baseball in Southwest Florida.

The Tampa Bay Times takes a look back at the first Florida Spring Training Game in 1914 between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Browns and the chaos that was driving “Pinellas County and its visitors baseball mad!”

Fast forward to the 2014 season and the Miami Herald claims the Florida Grapefruit League features baseball’s best.  But we already knew that didn’t we? After all we’ve got the American and National League Champions from last year, both 2013 Most Valuable Players and both 2013 Rookies of the Year opening up this week.
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Prior to the first pitch of the majority of Florida Spring Training games, the public address announcer always announces the game temperature in the stadium and then in a Midwest or Northeast city where the home team plays.  Here’s a Baltimore media outlet bragging about the local weather at Orioles Spring Training in Sarasota and other Florida locations.

Follow the 2014 Florida Grapefruit League season at www.floridagrapefruitleague.com and on Twitter @FlaSpringTrain.  The Florida Sports Foundation is also offering a new Mobile App for Apple and Android Smartphones.  Links to download the app can be found at www.floridagrapefruitleague.com.  It features schedules, stadium information and fans will receive notifications during the season about daily gameday promotions and weather updates if necessary during the 33 days of Florida Spring Training.

LDearman-Bluegill-BigcatchWATCH FOR fishing enthusiasts to flock to the water during the upcoming peak months of fishing in Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission publishes a monthly “Fish Busters Bulletin,” to keep fishers posted on all of the latest information.  

Besides information, The FWC has plenty of programs available to keep fishing enthusiasts engaged and active on both saltwater and freshwater.  The State of Florida has plenty of both.

WATCH FOR Local Florida Senior Games qualifiers to take place in four Florida communities during the month of March, including the inaugural Cutler Bay Senior Games, featuring 11 sports.

FFLseniorgames_200Also taking place during the month of March are the Good Life Games in Pinellas County, the Charlotte County Fit For Life Games and the Capital City Senior Games in Tallahassee.

All four local events are qualifiers for the 2014 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships, December 6-14, in Lee County. 

The Weekly “What to Watch For in Florida Sports,” is compiled by the Florida Sports Foundation, the state’s lead sports promotion and development organization. Follow the Florida Sports Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter #fla_sports. Visit www.flasports.com for more information about the Florida Sports Foundation and the vibrant sports industry in the Sunshine State. Florida is Where The World Comes to Play.

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What To Watch For This Week In Florida Sports (January 27-February 2)

W2W4 LogoWATCH FOR the 18 Florida connections in Super Bowl XLVIII, in New York/New Jersey, Sunday, to make a difference the game’s outcome.

While oddsmakers have declared the Denver Broncos the favorite, the Broncos come out ahead when it comes to Florida natives and connections. The Broncos feature eight Florida natives who came through the ranks of youth and high school football in Florida and one who came to Florida to play on the college level. The Broncos also have former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, Jack Del Rio, on the staff serving as the defensive coordinator, to bring their total connections to 10.

SuperBowlThe Seattle Seahawks have four players and two coaches who came through the ranks in Florida and two players who brought their game to Florida for their college careers.

Denver Broncos Florida Connections
Andre Caldwell, WR, Thomas Jefferson HS, Tampa, University of Florida
Tony Carter, CB, Mandarin HS, Jacksonville, Florida State University
Orlando Franklin, OT, Atlantic HS, Delray Beach, University of Miami
Matt Prater, Estero HS, University of Central Florida
Kayvon Webster, Monsignor Pace HS, Opa-Locka, University of South Florida
Lerente McCray, LB, Dunnellon HS, Ocala, University of Florida
Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, CB, Lakewood Ranch HS, Bradenton, Tennessee State University
Danny Trevathan, LB, Leesburg HS, University of Kentucky
Jeremy Mincey, DE, University of Florida
Jack Del Rio, Defensive Coordinator, Head Coach Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-11)

Seattle Seahawks Florida Connections
Doug Baldwin, WR, Gulf Breeze HS, Stanford University
Lemeul Jeanpierre, G/C, Timber Creek HS, Orlando, University of South Carolina
Akeem Auguste, Chaminade-Madonna HS, Hollywood,, University of South Carolina
B.J. Daniels, Lincoln HS, Tallahassee, University of South Florida
Percy Harvin, WR, University of Florida
Caylin Hauptman, OT, Florida International University
Pat Ruel, Offensive Line Coach, Coral Gables High School, University of Miami
Marquand Manuel, Defensive Assistant Coach, Miami, University of Florida

senior-games-2013bWATCH FOR the Delray Beach Senior Games to kick off the 2014 Florida Local Senior Games Calendar of Events on Friday, January 31, with Games Opening Ceremonies at Pompey Park, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Also on the schedule for Friday is an open to the public free Healthwalk, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Pompey Park. The day rounds out with singles bowling at Strikes at Boca Raton at 1:00 p.m. The Delray Beach Senior Games continue through February 7.

Other local senior games events taking place in February include the Lee County Senior Games (February 9 – March 25), Gulf Coast Senior Games (February 18- 23) and the Polk Senior Games (February 22- March 9).

Seven more local senior games will be held during the spring months, which serve as qualifiers for the 2014 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships, to be held , December 6-14, in Lee County.

Equestrian Festival 2WATCH FOR the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival to continue with its fourth week of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), January 29, through February 2.

The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money. It is the world’s largest and longest-running equestrian competition.

This week features the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 on Thursday, the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Friday afternoon, the $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event presented by The Dutta Corp. in Association with Guido Klatte at The Stadium at PBIEC on Friday night, the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® on Saturday night, and the $50,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 2* on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday afternoon.

Multi-platinum recording artist and four-time Grammy nominee Hunter Hayes will perform a full concert Saturday, February 1, during the spectacular charity show jumping competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The event, which features some of the world’s top equestrians, is on track to raise and distribute more than $1.75 million dollars to benefit over 34 charities.

WATCH FOR new ways to enjoy the 2014 Florida Spring Training season, which begins in less than a month, when pitchers and catchers begin reporting in mid-February.

appscreenshotFans can now follow the 2014 Florida Grapefruit League season with a Mobile Phone App, featuring team and daily schedules, stadium information and directions, updates and notifications and an interactive Fan Wall. Fans can post pictures of themselves enjoying Florida Spring Training Games. The mobile app is available for Apple Smart Phones and Android Phones.

Follow the Florida Grapefruit League on Twitter @FlaSpringTrain for daily updates as the season approaches and facts about more than 100 years of Florida Spring Training.

A digital copy of the 2014 Florida Spring Training Guide, in pdf format, is currently posted to download and print, as well as a daily schedule of games. The Florida Grapefruit League website has all of the latest information on the 15 teams playing in 14 locations statewide.

The 2014 Florida Spring Training season begins the week of February 24, the first day with a full schedule of games is Friday, February 28. The season runs through Saturday, March 29.

We hope you have enjoyed the Weekly “What to Watch For in Florida Sports.” It is compiled by the Florida Sports Foundation, the state’s lead sports promotion and development organization. Follow the Florida Sports Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter #fla_sports. Visit www.flasports.com for more information about the Florida Sports Foundation and the vibrant sports industry in the Sunshine State. Florida is Where The World Comes to Play.

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What To Watch For This Week In Florida Sports (September 30-October 6)

W2W4 LogoWATCH FOR two of Florida’s pro teams in the spotlight tonight as the undefeated Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints meet on Monday Night Football in the Louisiana Superdome.  The Tampa Bay Rays play Game 163 against the Texas Rangers in the Ballpark at Arlington with the winner advancing to the American League Wildcard Game.

The Dolphins are off to their best start since the 2002 season and five of the 9 current playoff teams began their seasons in Florida during the month of March in the Florida Grapefruit League.

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WATCH FOR the number of Likes to grow on the newly-debuted Florida Senior Games Facebook page as senior athletes, age 50 and over register to compete in the 2013 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships in Lee County, December 7-15.

The page made its debut today and will be completely devoted to Senior Games updates, information and accomplishments.

There are still opportunities available for athletes to qualify at a Local Senior Games event between now and the registration deadline for the State Championships in mid-November

champions-challenge-presented-by-justin-bootsWATCH FOR the 2013 Ram Rodeo Series to ride into Kissimmee for the Wrangler Champions Challenge, hosted by the Silver Spurs Rodeo, Saturday, October 5.

Saddle up with the cowboys and gals at Silver Spurs Arena and enjoy the legendary sport of rodeo. 

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) offers up a special made-for-TV series of Champions Challenge rodeos this year on Great American Country (GAC), featuring 10 top competitors in each event and the sport’s best livestock.  

There’s even more rodeo on the Florida horizon as the Southeastern Circuit Rodeo Finals will be held in Davie November 7-10, 2013

strikersWATCH FOR an old-school Florida soccer rivalry to be revived this weekend when the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies meet in Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium.

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The matchup, also known as the Florida Derby, of the teams currently playing in the North American Soccer League, has spanned nearly one hundred matches across seven soccer leagues.  It has involved eight different franchises from the two regions of Florida.

A well-researched history of the rivalry dating back to 1975 can be found on Wikipedia. The two teams meet again on Saturday, October 12 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.

WATCH FOR Florida’s three entries in the AP Top 25 Poll to play conference games within the friendly confines of their home stadiums on Saturday.  Eighth-ranked Florida State hosts Maryland in Tallahassee’s Doak Campbell Stadium, #14 Miami meets Georgia Tech in Sun Life Stadium and Arkansas ventures into Gainesville’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to play #18 Florida.  Chart the progress of all 19 teams playing football in the Sunshine State at Florida Football Central.

The Weekly “What to Watch For in Florida Sports,” is compiled by Florida Sports Foundation Director of Communications, Nick Gandy. Follow the Florida Sports Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter #fla_sports. Visit http://www.flasports.com for more information about the Florida Sports Foundation and the vibrant sports industry in the Sunshine State. Florida is Where The World Comes to Play.

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September 30, 2013 · 9:01 pm

What To Watch For This Week In Florida Sports (September 23-29)

W2W4 LogoWATCH FOR the Miami Dolphins, one of six NFL teams still undefeated after three weeks of the 2013, to stay among the unbeaten, when they travel to meet the New Orleans Saints.  The Saints are one of the five other teams still unbeaten.

Miami’s 27-23, come-from-behind win, over the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at Sun Life Stadium before a crowd of over 70,000, gives the Dolphins their first 3-0 start since the 2002 season.  It had fans in South Florida singing the old Miami Dolphins fight song after touchdowns.

dolphins-cxlogoA good sign for the Dolphins 2013 season came late in the game when the Fox Sports television broadcast showed at graphic saying 75% of teams that begin the season 3-0 make the playoffs. 

See the records of all Florida NFL and College Football teams at Florida Football Central.  Besides the Dolphins, the Central Florida Knights, Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes can boast undefeated 3-0 records.

WATCH FOR Florida senior athletes to begin registering for the 2013 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships.  Detailed competition information and registration forms have now been posted at the previous link.  Online registration opportunities are coming soon for the 22 sports of the annual Olympic-style Sports Festival for athletes age 50 and over.

SRGAMEThe 2013 Florida International Senior Games and State Championships will be held December 7-15, in Lee County with approximately 2,000 athletes expected to compete over the course of the nine day event.   The 2013 Games are presented by the Florida Sports Foundation, in conjunction with Lee County Sports Development.

Athletes eligible to compete in the 2013 State Championships, can visit www.flasports.com and fill out registration forms in pdf documents and send the completed forms back to the Florida Sports Foundation.  Registration deadlines are in mid-to-late November and entry fees vary by sport.

Registration books will be mailed to athletes eligible to compete in early October and can be requested by contacting the Florida Sports Foundation.

Sports needing a qualifying performance by Florida residents include 3-on-3 Basketball, Basketball Shooting, Bowling, Cycling, Golf, Horseshoes, Shuffleboard, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Track and Field.  The Florida International Senior Games & State Championships are open to out of state athletes.  Out of state athletes are not required to qualify at a local Senior Games event.

BagTossCarltonBentonOpen sports which do not need a qualifying performance are Archery, Bag Toss, Billiards, Bocce, Croquet, Pickleball, Powerlifitng, Power Walk, Race Walk, Racquetball, 5K and 10K Road Race and Volleyball.

Two new sports have been added to the 2013 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships and a previous year’s sport returns to the roster as Bag Toss and Croquet debut in December.  Bocce returns to Veteran’s Park in Cape Coral after not being offered in 2011 and 2012.

Upcoming Florida Senior Games Local Qualifying Events
Jacksonville Senior Games, September 30 – October 5
The Villages Senior Games, Golf and Softball events, October 1-13
Tampa Bay Senior Games, October 7-18
Gainesville Senior Games, October 11-19
Kissimmee/St. Cloud Senior Games, October 12-19
Golden Age Games, Sanford, November 2-9
Martin County Senior Games, November 2-11

??????????WATCH FOR the Central Florida Sports Commission, Orange County, and USA Powerlifting to host the International Powerlifting Federation’s (IPF) World Masters Powerlifting Championships for the very first time Orlando. The event will take place September 23rd – 29th at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport.

The IPF World Masters Powerlifting Championship is projected to attract over 350 athletes from 32 countries, generating more than 1,100 room nights and $700,000 of economic impact.

“We are delighted to welcome the International Powerlifting Federation and their talented competitors to our Central Florida community” said John Bisignano, president of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “We look forward to once again working with our partners at USA Powerlifting to ensure the success of another powerlifting event, as we serve our mission to drive economic development through sports.”

The event begins with the opening ceremonies on September 23rd and concludes with an awards banquet on September 29th. Athletes will range from ages 40-80+ years old and this year’s championship is expected to be one of the largest ever in 30 years, as lifters from around the world will descend on Orange County.

web_com_logoWATCH FOR the Web.com Tour Finals to steam toward its finish at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, beginning Tuesday, with PGA TOUR cards awaiting the top 25 in Finals earnings that didn’t qualify during the Web.com Tour’s regular season.

Trevor Immelman and Andrew Svoboda, winners of the first two Finals events, head the list of 128 men with varying goals in the season finale. Jacksonville resident Steve Wheatcroft is among the field playing at the TPC Sawgrass, Dye’s Valley course (6,864 yards, par 70).

The “other” course at Sawgrass has staged its own share of high-profile events including the SENIOR PLAYERS Championship (1988-89) and Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open (2010-12). The features wider fairways and larger greens than the Stadium Course, yet ranked as the Web.com Tour’s fourth-toughest layout last year. Dye’s Valley topped the list in 2011.

The tournament festivities also includes a performance from Blues Traveler. The concert will be presented by Legacy Trust Family Wealth Offices and take place on the back lawn of TPC Sawgrass immediately following play on Friday, September 27.

FLSportswEFIYLWlogo The Weekly “What to Watch For in Florida Sports,” is compiled by Florida Sports Foundation Director of Communications, Nick Gandy. Follow the Florida Sports Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter #fla_sports. Visit http://www.flasports.com for more information about the Florida Sports Foundation and the vibrant sports industry in the Sunshine State. Florida is Where The World Comes to Play.

 

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What To Watch For This Week In Florida Sports (August 19-25)

SRGAMEWATCH FOR Florida’s senior athletes to begin planning for the 2013 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships, to be held in Lee County, December 7-15, 2013. Registration is now opening for several of the eight remaining Florida local senior games competitions.

The fall schedule of qualifiers begins on September 9 with the Pensacola Senior Games and continues through November.

Registration is open currently open for…
Pensacola Senior Games, September 9-22
Jacksonville Senior Games, September 30 – October 5
The Villages Senior Games Golf and Softball events, October 1-13
Tampa Bay Senior Games, October 7-18 
Gainesville Senior Games, October 11-19
Kissimmee/St. Cloud Senior Games, October 12-19

Sports requiring a qualifying performance to compete in the State Championships include; Badminton, Basketball Shooting, Basketball (3 on 3), Bowling, Cycling, Golf, Horseshoes, Shuffleboard, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Track & Field.

Complete competition and registration information will be available by mid September.

solheim_cupWATCH FOR the highly touted The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, to make a final push to host the 2017 Solheim Cup.  The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course is one of three finalists to host the 2017 Solheim Cup, LPGA communications executive Kraig Kann confirmed. Kann said the final decision is expected this fall.

The Solheim Cup is the women’s equivalent to the Ryder Cup, and The Concession would be adding its biggest tournament to date. Already, the course has hosted the Big Ten Match Play Championship and Callaway Collegiate Match Play, and earned the bid for the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s National Championship in 2015.

The course’s high rating isn’t the lone factor that goes into the decision-making process.

concession12Other factors include potential logistical obstacles for a community to host a prized event. That means the need for adequate hotels, concession stands, parking and the other amenities associated with major-tournament golf.

The tournament regularly draws at least 100,000 people. Those fans aren’t just local, either. They come from around the country as well as from Europe and the rest of the world.

The 2013 Solheim Cup wrapped up last weekend in Denver. It now shifts to Europe in 2015, before returning to the United States two years later. Selecting the 2017 host site isn’t likely to occur until after this summer’s tournament schedule concludes.

FloridaStateLeagueWATCH FOR the Fort Myers Miracle and Dunedin Blue Jays to prepare for the 2013 Florida State League post-season.  The Miracle and Blue Jays each won the first half of the Class A Florida State League season and now await the winners of the second half for a best of three playoff series that begins September 3. The winners advance to a best of five championship series.

The Fort Myers Miracle return to the postseason for the first time since 2009 after clinching the Florida State League South Division first half on June 8.  Managed by 12-year MLB veteran Doug Mientkiewicz, the Miracle have posted one of the best seasons in team history and have been among the top teams in all of professional baseball.

The Dunedin Blue Jays won North First Half, which means they’ve made the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. Game 1 will be hosted by the Second Half winner, but Dunedin has home field advantage and will host Game 2 and Game 3.

The Daytona Cubs currently lead the North Division and the Charlotte Stone Crabs lead the South Division.

FootballphotowebWATCH FOR the return of football season in Florida with FLORIDA FOOTBALL CENTRAL, a one-stop shop of college and pro football schedules and updated scores.  The State of Florida now boast 16 college football teams with the addition of the Warner University Royals, Florida Tech Panthers and Stetson Hatters.

The first college football game in Florida features an instate matchup when the Florida Atlantic Owls visit the Miami Hurricanes on Friday, August 30. All 16 college teams will be on the field that weekend followed by Week One of the NFL season the following weekend.

Visit FLORIDA FOOTBALL CENTRAL, the only online location with scores and schedules of all 19 Florida college and pro teams, every week and be the most informed football fan around.

FLSportswEFIYLWlogo The Weekly “What to Watch For in Florida Sports,” is compiled by Florida Sports Foundation Director of Communications, Nick Gandy. Follow the Florida Sports Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter #fla_sports. Visit http://www.flasports.com for more information about the Florida Sports Foundation and the vibrant sports industry in the Sunshine State. Florida is Where The World Comes to Play.

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What To Watch For This Week In Florida Sports (August 12-18)

??????????WATCH FOR the Easton Newberry Sports Complex to continue to train coaches and athletes, and provide a world-class venue in the sport of archery.  The Easton Newberry Sports Complex, a shared-use facility that combines the Easton Foundation Archery Center with the City of Newberry Recreation Department, has been selected by the United States Olympic Committee as a Community Olympic Development Program (CODP).

Easton Newberry, home of Florida’s Sunshine State Games Archery for the last four years, becomes one of only 10 programs nationwide to receive this designation by the USOC for its ability to train coaches and athletes, and provide world-class venues in the sport of archery.

Based in Newberry, the Easton Foundation is used by several U.S. Junior Olympic Archery Development clubs. Additionally, it hosts the annual Gator Cup, which USA Archery selected as a U.S. Archery Team qualifier series event.

“The USOC is thrilled to announce Easton Newberry Sport Complex as its newest Community Olympic Development Program,” said Alicia McConnell, USOC director of training sites and community partnerships. “Easton Newberry’s commitment to athlete development and youth outreach is exactly what we look for when developing partnerships to enhance the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”

The CODP will continue to serve as a regional archery center for all skill levels, teaching archers the National Training System of USA Archery while giving all interested archers opportunities for advancement. With 100 acres of multipurpose facilities – including dedicated areas for archery training and events – the organization currently reaches 6,200 people each year. The organization will also continue to conduct its mobile van program to promote archery throughout the surrounding communities.

waterskiWATCH FOR Palm Beach County to be the epicenter for the sport of waterskiing as USA Water Ski  brings its National Championships to the lakes in Okeeheelee Park, August 13-17.

The GOODE USA National Water Ski Championships, the nation’s largest water ski celebration, is a traditional three-event competition (slalom, tricks, and jumping).  Over 600 adult participants and 200 youth participants will travel from across the country to compete in this prestigious event. The Nationals consist of both men and women divisions with 24 age groups, featuring competitors that range from 6 years of age and under to over 80 years.

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is supporting the Ski Club of the Palm Beaches and its efforts to host the USA Water Ski National Championships.  The Ski Club of the Palm Beaches is one of the most active and productive clubs in the country and partners with Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation to maintain the skiing facilities at Okeeheelee Park. This dedication has played a vital role in Palm Beach County becoming a premier destination for competitive water skiers. USA Water Ski has brought the Nationals to Palm Beach County four out of the last eight years (2005, 2008, 2009, and 2012).  In addition to the National Championships, Palm Beach County has also hosted five Southern Regional Water Ski Championships, two Florida State Water Ski Championships and the 1989 Water Ski World Championships – in addition to a handful of professional cash-prize tournaments and hundreds of other amateur water ski tournaments – over the past 25 years.

waterskijumpOkeeheelee Park, a 900-acre county park in central Palm Beach County, is widely recognized for its dynamic waterskiing facility. Its waters have been a haven for both professional and amateur skiers for over twenty-five years. There are five freshwater ski lakes custom-designed for competition waterskiing, one of which is even lighted for night-time use. Four of the five lakes feature slalom courses, while one lake provides a jump ramp and is dedicated to jumping and wakeboarding.

The USA National Water Ski Championships will bring economic benefits to the local community and is expected to generate over 1,500 hotel room nights and $1 million in economic impact during the month of August, a traditionally slow month for tourism. .

VenueInfo_Interior20121WATCH FOR this weekend’s ArenaBowl XXVIin Orlando’s Amway Center to begin an impressive run of sporting events that will carry into 2014.

The Philadelphia Soul and Arizona Rattlers will play for the Arena Football League Championship Game Saturday night in Orlando.

In September, the Tampa Bay Lightning will host a pre-season game against the St. Louis Blues, September 1, a precursor of the Orlando Solar Bears 2013-14 season that begins in late October.  Now in their second season in the ECHL, the Solar Bears’ finished third in the league overall, boasting average game attendance rates of more than 6,500.

Between hockey and basketball, professional boxing will be held in the downtown Orlando venue when  Miguel Cotto meets Delvin Rodriguez in a 12-round super welterweight battle, October 5.

PIt all leads up to November 1,when the Orlando Magic season begins with their opening night game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

With an ultimate capacity of more than 20,000 seats, the arena was designed to respond to its distinct urban setting while revealing the activities occurring within. Inside the Amway Center, everything is new from the front row to the rafters. Bigger seats. Better sight lines. More amenities on every level of the building. Concourses are spacious, offering unique concessions and activities for kids and adults alike.

MastersRowingLogoWATCH FOR Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park will host its largest rowing event to date, the U.S. Rowing Masters Championships,  August 15-18. Last year’s championships, held in Worcester, Mass., drew 1,942 entries and had at least $1.4 million in direct economic impact.

The 2013 Championships in Sarasota received a Florida Sports Foundation grant and is expected to bring more than 3,000 visitors to the area and more than $1.6 million in economic impact.

????????????????????WATCH FOR Florida’s senior athletes to be showing off the medals won at the 2013 National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio.  The final tally is in and the 568 Florida athletes, age 50 and over, who traveled to Cleveland won 215 individual and eight team medals during the 13-day biennial competition, held July 20-August 1.  Visit the Florida results page to see the list.

FLSportswEFIYLWlogoThe Weekly “What to Watch For in Florida Sports,” is compiled by Florida Sports Foundation Director of Communications, Nick Gandy. Follow the Florida Sports Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter #fla_sports. Visit http://www.flasports.com for more information about the Florida Sports Foundation and the vibrant sports industry in the Sunshine State. Florida is Where The World Comes to Play.

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What To Watch For This Week In Florida Sports (July 15-21)

WATCH FOR seven sports events to bring thousands of visitors this week to the State of Florida. Even in the heat of the summer, Florida is “Where the World Comes to Play.”

These seven events will bring over 13,000 visitors and over $11 million in economic impact to six Florida communities.

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33rd National Veterans’ Wheelchair Games (NVWG), July 13-18, 2013, Tampa Bay
USTA National Boys 14 Clay Court Championships, July 14-19, 2013, Fort Lauderdale
USTA Boys’ 18 & 16 Clay Court National Championships, July 14-20, 2013, Palm Beach County
AAU Boys’ Division I 5th Grade Boys National Basketball Championship, July 14-20, 2013, Cocoa Beach
AAU Boys’ Division II 5th Grade Boys National Basketball Championship, July 14-20, 2013, Cocoa Beach
2013 Miami Cup (International Soccer Cup), July 14-21, 2013, Miami
2013 NSA Girls Fast Pitch Class B Southern World Series, July 15 -20, Polk County

Florida’s 24 sports commissions present more than 1,500 sports events annually in the Sunshine State.

matt-moore-113WATCH FOR for Matt Moore and Ben Zobrist, of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Jose Fernandez, of the Miami Marlins to represent Florida at the Major League Baseball All Star Game Tuesday night at Citi Field in New York City.

The Rays finished an 10-game homestand leading up to the All Star break with a 9-1 record and are now in second place of the American League East.

The Marlins got off to a rough start in April and May, but Since then, the Marlins have gone 21-17 heading into the All Star Break.

The State of Florida hosts its own All Star Game as the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville is home to the 2013 Southern League All-Star Game and surrounding festivities, July 16-17.

On Tuesday, July 16th the All-Star Week kicks off with the 2013 All-Star Game GALA at the Jacksonville Landing courtyard beginning at 7:30 P.M. Fans are invited to come out and meet the 2013 Southern League All-Stars, get autographs, listen to live music and celebrate this event while watching the 2013 Major League All-Star Game on the Big Screen in the Landing courtyard. Admission is free for everyone.

asg_logoWednesday, July 17th is a big day of events at Bragan Field, home of the Jacksonville Suns, beginning with All-Star FanFest from 3:00-5:30 P.M. in the Palm Tree Pavilion area at Bragan Field. At FanFest all fans get an All-Star Game T-Shirt, access to Player Autographs and meet the players, interactive games, a special movie presentation and much more all for just $20.

Following FanFest will be the 2013 Southern League Home Run Derby at 6:00 P.M. featuring  the best future home run hitters in the Southern League putting on a power display you won’t want to miss. First Pitch for the All-Star Game will be at 7:05 and you can see some of the best stars of tomorrow play today on one field.

Tickets are on sale now for all events at the Suns Box Office at 904-358-2846 or go to www.jaxsuns.com for more info. Tickets for the All-Star Game are $10.50 for general admission, $12.50 for reserved seating and $16.50 for Homeplate Box seating..

???????????????????????WATCH FOR the state of Florida’s 568 senior athletes to excel on a national stage at the 2013 National Senior Games, in Cleveland, Ohio, beginning Saturday, July 20.

Once again, Florida is among the top five traveling contingents to the biennial National Senior Games.  Since 2001, over 3,000 Florida athletes have travelled to the National Senior Games, held in odd numbered years.  The most Florida athletes to travel to the National Senior Games came in 2007 when 645 athletes represented the Sunshine State in Louisville, Kentucky.

Eight sports are featured in the first weekend of competition with the rest to follow through August 1.

Schedule for the 2013 National Senior Games
For a more detailed schedule of events visit www.nsga.com
Archery – Saturday, July 20 – Wednesday, July 24
Badminton – Saturday, July 20 – Saturday, July 27
Horseshoes – Sunday, July 21 – Thursday, July 25
Road Race – Saturday, July 20 (10K); Tuesday, July 23 (5K)
Softball – Saturday, July 20 – Friday, July 26
Swimming – Saturday, July 20 – Thursday, July 25
Tennis – Saturday, July 20 – Monday, July 29
Triathlon – Sunday, July 21

freedomspirit

Among the most popular sports for the Florida contingent is softball with 86 athletes competing, track and field has 70 Florida participants and tennis will have 53 Floridians on the courts.

The Freedom Spirit 70+ Women’s Softball team (pictured above), made up of a majority of players from the Tampa Bay area, will be attempting to win their fifth consecutive National Senior Games medal going back to 2005. The Freedom Spirit ladies won a gold medal in 2005 and 2009, silver in 2007 and bronze in 2011.

The 568 athletes in Cleveland will have a tough act to follow.  At the 2011 National Senior Games, in Houston, Texas, the Florida contingent of 496 senior athletes collected 243 overall medals (101 gold, 80 silver and 62 bronze), the second highest total of all states, behind only the host state of Texas.  In six National Senior Games events between 2001 and 2011, Florida athletes won 1,119 medals.

The Weekly “What to Watch For in Florida Sports,” is compiled by Florida Sports Foundation Director of Communications, Nick Gandy. Follow the Florida Sports Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter #fla_sports. Visit http://www.flasports.com for more information about the Florida Sports Foundation and the vibrant sports industry in the Sunshine State. Florida is Where The World Comes to Play.

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