May 28, 2015
Sunshine State Games Sarasota-Bradenton Festival features seven sports – June 6-8
TALLAHASSEE – The Sunshine State Games (SSG) Sarasota-Bradenton Festival will be held Saturday, June 6 through Monday, June 8 with over 1,500 athletes competing in seven sports.
This is the second consecutive year, the Sarasota-Bradenton area has hosted a SSG Olympic-style Sports Festival. It is one of three Olympic-style Multi-Sport Festivals on the 2015 Calendar of Events.
With a complete roster of 27 sports, the SSG totals more than 10,000 athletes in action between April and November in competitions held in 10 different Florida communities.
For more information about the Sunshine State Games, please visit www.flasports.com.
Sarasota-Bradenton Festival Competition Schedule, Registration Update and Storylines
June 6-7, 2015 – Sarasota County Archers (Field and 3D) and Premier Sports Campus (FITA and 900)
Register online by June 4, 2015. On-site registration available. Only cash, checks and money orders will be accepted for on-site registration.
June 6-7, 2015 – Nathan Benderson Park (Sprints, Saturday, June 6) and Fort Hamer Park (Marathon, Sunday, June 7)
Register online by June 4, 2015. On-site registration is only available for Sprints.
June 6, 2015 – Lakeview Park
Register online by June 4, 2015. Registration will be capped at 72 players. On-site registration will only be available if 72 players are not registered.
June 6-7, 2015 – The Sarasota YMCA – Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Branch
Register online by May 31, 2015
June 6, 2015 – Nathan Benderson Park
Register online by May 31, 2015
June 6-8, 2015 – Selby Aquatic Complex
Register online by May 31, 2015
June 6-7, 2015 – Premier Sports Campus
Call 1-866-354-2637 for registration availability
Youth and Adult Archers compete side by side
SSG Archery Sunshine State Games Archery features two very distinct types of archery, the 720 and 900 rounds and Field Archery and 3-D. One day, archers will stand in line in an open field and shoot at traditional round targets from marked yardages in the 720 and 900 round. The other day, archers shoot in the woods on a 3-D and Field Course with targets that include animals and traditional targets.
Among the more than 75 archers registered is a group from the Newberry Jr. Olympic Archery Club. They include TJ Rodriguez, Sophia Tempio, Olivia Huffer, who has competed in the last four Sunshine State Games, Amanda Velez and Isaac Swinehart.
The event is a preparation for following stages of competition, according to Kimberly Oliver, the club leader and USA Archery Level 3 NTS Coach.
“The Sunshine State Games is used as a natural progression for our club archers to prepare each year for Junior Archery Nationals,” she said. “This event celebrates the athlete. Our club kids enjoy shooting with archers from around the state and have made many friends as a result. My own kids have benefited from the mentor relationships that have evolved from competing alongside adult archers from Florida. These relationships have grown to be sources of inspiration, encouragement and wisdom for them.”
Oliver’s son and daughter competed in the 2014 Games but will miss this year’s tournament, since her son, Ryan, is competing for Team USA at the World Archery Youth Championships.
Family time at Sunshine State Games Racquetball
Competing at the Sarasota YMCA will be the Wargo’s of Clearwater. Dad Gary, son Evan and daughter Graciana, don’t limit their family fun to the Sunshine State Games.
After Graciana Wargo competed in both the Women’s C Singles and the Mixed B Doubles racquetball divisions, winning Gold Medals in both, she traveled to the USA Racquetball Junior Olympics in Colorado, where she won two medals, including the Gold Medal National Championship in the Girls Age 12 & Under Doubles. That win earned a roster spot on Team USA where the team competed in the Junior Racquetball World Championships in Cali, Colombia, against 21 other countries, where Team USA brought home a Third Place Team Bronze Medal in October 2014. She has competed and traveled in years past as part of Team USA in Bolivia and the Dominican Republic.
In November 2012, Sports Illustrated Kids honored Graciana, as one of four youth athletes in the country chosen a “Future Stars: SportsKids of the Month.” Besides racquetball accomplishments, this honor also evaluated high-level academic achievements and meaningful volunteer community service efforts.
Synchronized Swimming is only three day sport of Sarasota-Bradenton Festival
Sunshine State Games Synchronized Swimming is contested over three days due to the three skill levels involved. The levels begin with the Novice Group (Saturday, 6/6), advance to Intermediate (Sunday, 6/7) and finish with the polished veterans, the Junior Olympic, Age Group and Open levels (Sunday, June 8).
With over 230 synchronized swimmers currently registered from 48 Florida cities, the athletes range from five year olds, Eleanor Phillips, of Orlando and Lillian Stevens, of Tampa to over the age of 50 athletes like Audrey Frey, of Lakeland.
The athletes of many different ages and skill levels, from various parts of Florida know the importance of securing all of the necessary accessories. There’s the team’s matching bathing suit, glittery makeup and eyeliner and nose plug, and finally, the Knox Gelatin for the hair sculpted into the hair of all athletes at the Selby Aquatic Center.
10 Years of SSG Ultimate
The 2015 Games celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Ultimate in the Sunshine State Games since its debut in 2006 at the Games held in Miami Dade County. The event annually draws teams from all over the state and in the previous nine years, the Gainesville area has taken five title and Jacksonville has taken four.
The 2014 Men’s Open Champions, Wooly Mammoth, of Gainesville, return to defend their title, while 12 teams will compete in the Coed Division.
Besides the team bragging rights earned on the field through pool and bracket play, Ultimate players gather at the conclusion of the tournament for the “Ultimate Layout,” competition. This event allows individuals to show off their athleticism and creativity in catching a thrown disc. Players have literally jumped through hoops, over other individuals and even through open car doors to catch discs on a tarp covered with water and dish soap, giving them a good slide after making the catch.
Floridians enjoy the benefits of World Class Rowing in their home state
Recently named the “Sports Venue of the Year,” by the Florida Sports Foundation, Nathan Benderson Park hosts over 100 rowing athletes from 20 different clubs on Saturday, June 6.
Among the events include 1X, 2X, 4X and 8X crews testing their abilities at the host venue for the 2017 World Rowing Championships.
In 2014, Benderson Park was the site for nearly 50 rowing events hosting 50,000 athletes and spectators (over 25,000 from out of state) for an economic impact of over $12 million in economic impact to the Sarasota County region.
The most significant events secured for the coming years at Benderson Park include the 2015 US Rowing Youth National Championships, 2017 World Rowing Championships and the 2018 NCAA DI, II and III Rowing National Championships.