CLEARWATER, Fla. – Over the course of a weekend, a sports festival on the sands of Clearwater Beach, with the Gulf of Mexico serving as its backdrop, will welcome beach-goers as they will ascend upon the Sheraton Sand Key Resort for the Fourth Annual SSG International Beach Games September 28-30.
The International Beach Games transforms the wide Clearwater Beach between the Sheraton Sand Key Resort and the Gulf of Mexico into an athletic playground, featuring competition in Beach Tennis, Beach Ultimate (Frisbee), Beach Powerlifting, Cornhole, Highland Games, Ultra Weight Pentathlon, and Under 20 Super Weight Throw.
The Games are open to athletes throughout the world and presented by St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports & Events, Sheraton Sand Key Resort, and the Florida Sports Foundation. To accommodate the sports involved, athletes and spectators will be treated to a variety of multi-purpose fields to include four Ultimate fields, 12 Beach Tennis courts, a 75-yard throwing area for the Weight Throws and Highland Games event, and a Powerlifting platform.
Hundreds of athletes are expected to compete in the SSG International Beach Games this weekend, and with its beautiful sunny scenery, the Games are set to be the highlight of the weekend on the Clearwater Beach shores.
Spectators are encouraged to take a look at this sports festival not found anywhere else in the State of Florida. There is no admission charge at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort and parking is available at Sand Key Park, located at 1060 Gulf Boulevard, for $5.00.
Among the athletes registered to compete in the U20 Weight Throw Championships is Madison Malone, originally from Hollywood, who is now attending Auburn University as a member of the Track and Field team. Malone competed in the 2016 Beach Games winning a gold medal with a 20 lb. weight throw of 53-09 feet. In June, she took fourth place in the Hammer Throw at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships, in Bloomington, Indiana, with a throw of 193 feet.
“What makes her almost 200 foot hammer throw more impressive is Madi was injured and took a redshirt year at Auburn last year,” said Weight Throw Sport Director, Jim Griffin. “She had very little practice time leading up to the USATF meet. The NCAA Women’s Hammer Throw record is 240 feet and I believe she can beat that mark over the next four years, by the time she’s a senior.”
Dr. Agnes Green, of Bellaire, is a gold-medal winning Florida Senior Games athlete in the discus and shot put and will also compete in the Ultra Weight Pentathlon. Besides being the medical director of the Physicians Center for Weight Loss and Age Management, serving the Tampa Bay area, she served as a physician for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and was the lead physician for the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. She is an avid cyclist, a triathlete and a USA and World-Ranked Master’s Track and Field athlete in the shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw. Green has also served as the Public Address Announcer for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four for the last 12 years.
Two gold medalists in the Highland Games return to defend their championships in 2018. Kevin Dupuis, of Palm Harbor, won five of the seven events within the Masters Group with an overall low score of 10. His 2017 score was 12 points lower than the second-place finisher. He had the overall best Open Stone throw of 37-10, Heavy Weight for Distance throw with a 40-10 and a Hammer Throw of 96-10. He also had a Caber Toss score of 10.0.
Amy Brush-Cushman, of Bradenton, had an overall score of eight and had the top performances in four of the seven events. Both Dupuis and Brush competed in the 2017 Scottish Heavy Athletics Masters World Championships in Iceland.
Returning to compete in both the Ultra Weight Pentathlon and Highland Games are Mike and Diane Matteson, of Delavan, Wisconsin. The couple, both in their 60’s, won gold medals in the Ultra Weight Throw competition in 2017, with Mike being one of only three athletes to amass over 4,000 points in the heavy weight throws, ranging from 28 to 200 pounds in his age group.
“A score of 4,000 points in the Pentathlon is a very good benchmark,” said Mike Matteson. “I’ve been throwing in the Ultra Weight events for a while but last year in Clearwater was my first time in the Highland Games. I was a bit tired after Saturday’s events but the Sunday Highland Games events were fun and I’m looking forward to it again this year.”
Diane had the fourth highest score of all women competing in the 2017 Ultra Weight Pentathlon. She began competing in events with Mike after turning 60 and has achieved All-American status in the 12 and 20 pound weight throw.
The Cornhole events on Friday night and Saturday morning will accept on-site registrations as well as the Ultra Weight Pentathlon events on Saturday. Please contact the Florida Sports Foundation at 1-866-354-2637 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2018 SSG International Beach Games Daily Schedule of Events
Friday, September 28
9:30 a.m. Beach Tennis (Men’s & Women’s Open & Advanced Singles)
2:00 p.m. Beach Tennis (Men’s & Women’s 40+ Doubles)
6:00 p.m. Cornhole
Saturday, September 29
9:00 a.m. Beach Powerlifting
9:00 a.m. Beach Ultimate
9:00 a.m. Cornhole
9:00 a.m. USATF Florida Association Super Weight Championships
9:30 a.m. Beach Tennis (Men’s & Women’s Open & Advanced Doubles)
2:00 p.m. Beach Tennis (Men’s & Women’s Open & Advanced Doubles Main Draw)
Sunday, September 30
9:00 a.m. Highland Games
9:30 a.m. Beach Tennis (Open & Advanced Mixed Doubles)
2:00 p.m. Beach Tennis (Open & Advanced Mixed Doubles Main Draw)