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June is Sunshine State Games Month

Since 1980, the summer months, especially June, has Florida’s amateur athletes abuzz with the variety of Sunshine State Games, presented by Amazon, events taking place.

During the month of June, 15 sports will be contested in 14 Florida locations. The first weekend of June dives into the water in Gainesville and Lakeland with two of the Games original sports, Artistic Swimming and Swimming.

More competitions follow on the successive three weekends in Alachua, Broward, Clay and Polk counties. After this weekend’s schedule of events, six sports have been held, since February, with over 2,200 individual athletes, and 22 teams in action.

Athletes can visit the individual sports pages on www.sunshinestategames.com for competition and registration information or go to the blue “Register Now,” button on the top right corner of the website, to go directly to the registration website.

Info Athletes “Need To Know”

As the upcoming events draw near, weekly updates will be sent out to registered athletes and prospective athletes with updates. In the “need to know,” category for this week, please make note of the following….

Taekwondo offers Family Event
The Sunshine State Games Taekwondo Championships is offering a new event this year, a Family Open or Family World Class Poomsae event. The Open Division may have two to eight family members that combine color and black belt family members to present a color belt form of their choice.

Family trophies will be awarded for first through fourth place, along with individual medals. The event will be held on Saturday, June 18, so participants can compete in other events. Visit www.sunshinestategames.com/taekwondo for more information. Over 200 athletes have registered to compete at the 2022 Sunshine State Games Taekwondo Championships.

Two Sports, Two Pools, Two Cities – June 3-5 Weekend Preview
Beginning on Friday morning, Artistic Swimmers will be diving into the Gandy Pool in Lakeland with the Junior Olympic Division at 8:30 a.m. Saturday features the Intermediate and Athletes with Disabilities Divisions and Sunday wraps up with the Novice/Open/Masters Divisions.

Artistic Swimmers from 15 teams, spanning the length of the state from Tallahassee to Key West, will be in competition. At the end of each day, the Mary Rose High Point Trophies will be awarded to teams in the Novice, Intermediate and Junior Olympic Divisions. The late Mary Rose, of Orlando, was the coach of the Orlando Loreleis team, who is among the teams this weekend, and the original Artistic Swimming Sport Director of the Games.

Swimmers age in range from five-year old, Zoe Chimedza, a member of the Miramar Mermaids team, to the four members of the all-60+ Lakeland YMCA Flamingos Masters Division team. SSG Artistic Swimming Sport Director, Lorraine Valerino will do a team routine on Sunday with Piper Mislovic, Lynn Heil and Laural Cain.

On Saturday, the Miramar Mermaids Athletes with Disabilities team will be awarded with the 2021 Sunshine State Games Female Athletes of the Year Award. The seven-member team, coached by Grasey Noriega, performed a two-minute team routine at the 2021 Games in Gainesville. five members of the team return for the 2022 Games.

At the Dwight H. Hunter Northeast Pool, in Gainesville, approximately 400 swimmers, representing 11 teams will be on the starting blocks beginning on Friday afternoon, with races continuing through Sunday afternoon.

Among the swimmers are a quartet of brothers from the Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club, who have quite a list of accolades. Nathan, Stuart, Hanson and Chapman Higdon, range in ages from 10 through 19. Combined, the brothers will swim in 22 events. The three oldest, are among the top 10 times in the 100-meter freestyle, butterfly and backstroke.

Nathan, 19, currently swims at Lees-McRae College, in Banner Elk, NC. Stuart, 18, earned the Tallahassee Democrat’s Big Bend Swimmer of the Year Award and will attend LSU on a swimming scholarship. Hanson, 16, is a student at Maclay School in Tallahassee and competed in the State Championships for the swim team. Chapman will swim in six events in the 10 and under age group.

CLICK HERE for the Swimming Heat Sheets and a detailed timeline of events for all three days.

International Beach Games Highland Games Registration is now open at www.sunshinestategames.com/beach-games. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 13 in Panama City Beach.

Seven traditional Highlands Games events will be contested at Aaron Bessant Park, in Panama City Beach. The always interesting events include, Open Stone, Heavy Weight for Distance, Light Weight for Distance, Heavy Hammer, Caber, Sheaf and Weight Over Bar.

More Practice Time for Baton Twirlers
Baton Twirling has been postponed until a fall date. The event was originally scheduled to be held Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 at Orange Park High School. Look for a date in late-September/early October, at a location to be named later.

May and June Features Plenty of Sunshine State Games Events
Now in its 43rd year of providing amateur sports opportunities to Florida athletes of all ages, the Sunshine State Games, presented by Amazon, has been used as a stepping-stone to national and international competitions by many Florida athletes.

For the 2022 Games, between May 20 and June 26, multi-sport festivals will be held in four Florida locations, Alachua, Broward, Clay and Polk counties. Alachua, Broward and Polk have long histories of hosting Sunshine State Games events, while Clay County is now in its second year of hosting events in Northeast Florida.

Upcoming 2022 Sunshine State Games, presented by Amazon
Calendar of Events

All Sports, Dates and Locations Subject to Change

June 3-5, 2022
Artistic Swimming, Gandy Pool, Lakeland – 273 athletes competing
Swimming, Dwight H. Hunter Northeast Pool, Gainesville – Approximately 400 athletes competing

June 10-12, 2022
Disc Golf, Ronnie Van Zant Memorial Park, Green Cove Springs – Registration Deadline, June 8
Pickleball, Ronnie Van Zant Memorial Park, Green Cove Springs – Registration Closed – 76 athletes competing
Ultimate, Mixed Division, Plantation Sports Complex, Fleming Island – Registration Deadline, June 6

June 11- 12, 2022
Archery, Easton-Newberry Archery Center, Newberry and Gator Bowman Archery Range, Gainesville – Registration Deadline, June 6
Canoe Kayak, Marathon – June 11, Sprints – June 12, Middleburg Boat Ramp, Registration Deadline, June 9

June 17-19, 2022
Judo, AdventHealth Field House & Conference Center, Winter Haven – Registration Deadline, June 13
Taekwondo, AdventHealth Field House & Conference Center, Winter Haven – Fees vary by registration dates. Final Online Registration Deadline, June 13
Ultimate, Men’s Division, Plantation Sports Complex, Fleming Island– Registration Deadline, June 10

June 18, 2022
Golf, Cleveland Heights Golf Course, Lakeland – Registration Deadline, June 11

June 18-19, 2022
Table Tennis, Simpson Park Community Center, Lakeland – Registration Deadline, June 8

June 24-26, 2022
Sunshine State Games Water Polo Championship, Coral Springs Aquatic Center and Boca Raton High School – Registration Deadline, June 17

June 25, 2022
Sunshine State Games Powerlifting, Lift District Fitness, Margate – Registration Deadline, June 11

June 25 & 26, 2022
Fencing, Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, Alachua, Registration Deadline, June 3

August 12-14, 2022
International Beach Games, Panama City Beach

The Sunshine State Games, presented by Amazon, are an annual presentation of the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida. The Games are held in conjunction with local partners that include, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing, Clay County Tourism, the Gainesville Sports Commission and Visit Lauderdale. Now in its 43rd year, the Sunshine State Games are the longest continuously-running State Games in the U.S.