The Numbers of the Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana
Now in the fourth year of competition in Clearwater and Pinellas County venues, the 27th Annual Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, will be utilizing some of the finest facilities offered by the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department and other Pinellas County communities.
The Florida Sports Foundation, in conjunction with Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, presents the state’s only Olympic-style Sports Festival, for athletes age 50 and over, December 1-9. The 2018 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, is a qualifier for the 2019 National Senior Games, to be held June 14-25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
All totaled, 17 Clearwater and Pinellas County facilities will be used for the nine days of competition, as the Games are expected to attract 3,000 athletes to the area.
With the number of athletes gathering for the Games, more numbers are generated. Below is a selection of the local facilities being used and some impressive facts and figures about sports contested during the 2018 Games.
Clearwater Shuffleboard Club – Shuffleboard: Saturday, December 1 & Sunday, December 2
Located just off of Clearwater Harbor, the Clearwater Shuffleboard Club is deemed the “best facility in the whole state”. The club has proudly hosted the International Shuffleboard Association world championships at this professionally maintained facility. There are 26 outdoor courts and 26 covered, screened-in courts.
The clubhouse adjoins the building containing the International and National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame. Visitors are welcome and can take a self-guided walk through the history of the sport through awards, pictures, newspaper articles, and equipment.
The Long Center – Swimming: Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2; Table Tennis: Monday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 4
With its Olympic-sized pool and heated training pool, The Long Center hosted 35 events and 110 scheduled heats for the 2017 Games. Florida Senior Games athletes responded to their surroundings breaking 48 age group records.
Prior to the 2017 Games, The Long Center underwent a $1 million renovation. Upgrades to the pools included new deck and tiling, resurfacing of the pools, new lighting, and pump room/mechanical upgrades.
Besides the Florida Senior Games, The Long Center has also hosted the US Water Polo Open Championships, Speedo Champions Swimming Series, and the AAU Swimming & Diving National Championships.
Following the swimming competition, The Long Center Gymnasium will be transformed into a Championship Table Tennis venue with 20 tables separated by purple barriers. Top-ranked Florida table tennis players will amaze those in attendance with their skills and quick action on the tables.
Seminole Lanes – Bowling: Saturday, December 1 & Sunday, December 2
Since bowlers knocked down a total of 155,950 pins during two days of Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles and Mixed Doubles Events at the 2017 Games, Seminole Lanes has seen a dramatic makeover.
Seminole Lanes has served Pinellas County as a locally-owned-and-operated family business since 1957. Now with 60 lanes, it has been modernized to bring it into the 21st century. Senior Games bowlers at Seminole Lanes will experience bowling in sleek, modern style. The renovation includes new seating in the bowling areas, updated interior design, renovations to game rooms, snack bar, and bar and new video boards for scoring.
During last year’s Florida Senior Games, the men sent 83,822 pins to the floor while women knocked 32,800 pins. Bowling together in mixed doubles, men and women toppled 39,328 pins.
Fort DeSoto Park – Cycling 5K and 10K Time Trials: Thursday, December 6
Spend a day at the beach. Not just any beach, but a destination named the “Best Beach for Families,” according to the USA Today in 2014. The scenery is incredible while watching Time Trials riders take off at one minute intervals. Besides a number of record setting times at the 2017 Games due to wind and weather conditions, the 119 riders combined to pedal 566 miles in the 5K and 10K Time Trials.
Riders will climb on bikes with thousands of dollars of amenities, “to test their strong engine and their willingness to withstand rather intense pain,” as described by FSG record-setting cyclist, Sandy Scott.
North Greenwood Recreation Center and Ross Norton Recreation Center – Pickleball: Thursday, December 6 – Sunday, December 9
The two Clearwater recreation centers will host nearly 40 hours of Pickleball during the four days of competition in what has become the most popular sport of the Florida Senior Games.
First serves will take place at 8 a.m. each day and action will continue in Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles and Mixed Doubles until approximately 6 p.m.
Safety Harbor Rec Center – Powerlifting and Bag Toss: Saturday, December 8
Nestled in the quaint downtown area of Safety Harbor, the Safety Harbor Recreation Center will come alive with the sounds of weights clanking on the bar, music to get athletes motivated to lift great weights, and an ongoing play-by-play by sport director Richard Ficca.
At the 2017 Games, the Powerlifters combined to lift over 13 tons; 26,471 pounds in bench press, deadlift, and squat events.
Morningside Recreation Center – Volleyball: Saturday, December 8 & Sunday, December 9
FSG Volleyball players will take the courts at a recently-opened facility that debuted to the public on October 6. The new 20,998-square-foot facility houses a gymnasium, fitness center, multi-purpose rooms, and more. Programs, such as yoga, swim lessons, karate, pilates, zumba, basketball, pickleball, table tennis, and volleyball, will take place at the new complex once the Senior Games conclude.
About the Florida Sports Foundation
Florida’s Sports Industry creates over $57.4 billion in economic impact for the Sunshine State, provides over 580,000 jobs for its citizens, and attracts over 16 million out of state visitors each year. All of which deservingly make Florida the “Sports Capital of the World”. The Florida Sports Foundation, Inc. is a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation, serving as the Sports Industry Development Division of Enterprise Florida, Inc. The mission of the Florida Sports Foundation is to:
- Assist Florida’s communities with securing, hosting and retaining Sporting events and sports related business that generate significant economic impact and Sports Tourism for the state of Florida through the Foundation’s grant programs, legislative initiatives and Industry Partner service, recognition and development.
- Provide the citizens of Florida with participation opportunities in the Sunshine State Games and Florida Senior Games events.
- Serve as Florida’s leading resource for Sport Tourism research and facts.
- Assist in the promotion of targeted leisure sports industries in Florida.
- Assist National and Florida State Governing Bodies to promote amateur sport development through the Sunshine State Games and hosting events in Florida.