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Sunshine State Games makes First Visit to Clay County with Four Sports

The third and final weekend of 2021 Sunshine State Games Festivals is this weekend with a second weekend of the Alachua County Festival featuring two sports, Artistic Swimming and Archery, while four sports will be in action at the Clay County Festival.

In its first time hosting Sunshine State Games events, Clay County welcomes Canoe/Kayak Marathon to Middleburg, Disc Golf and Pickleball to Green Cove Springs and Ultimate to Fleming Island.

Athletes can still register for Archery, in Alachua County, and the Canoe/Kayak Marathon races, in Clay County, onsite on the day of the event. Visit www.sunshinestategames.com/all-sports-schedule for competition information about all of the sports this weekend and onsite registration information.

While Alachua County and Gainesville have been frequent hosts of Sunshine State Games events, when the first Pickleball serve at Ronnie Van Zant Park, in Green Cove Springs clears the net, on Friday morning, Clay County joins 14 other Florida communities as hosts, in four decades, of the Games. It is also the first Sunshine State Games competition to be held in Northeast Florida since the Jacksonville hosted the Sunshine State Games in 1988.

Three days of Pickleball begins on Friday with Men’s and Women’s Singles. Men’s and Women’s Doubles will be played on Saturday and Mixed Doubles wraps up the event on Sunday. Matches begin at 8:00 a.m. all three days.

Disc Golf will also be played at Ronnie Van Zant Park, in Green Cove Springs. Doubles begins on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and singles tees off on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Two divisions, totaling 13 teams, will be playing Ultimate at the Plantation Sports Complex in Fleming Island. Six mixed open teams (male and female athletes) and seven Men’s Open teams begin at 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Canoe/Kayak Marathon races, of six and 12 miles, will launch at the Middleburg Boat Ramp with athletes maneuvering their boats in the North Fork Black Creek.

Meanwhile, in Alachua County, over 200 artistic swimmers will be in the pool at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center between Friday and Sunday. The Easton Newberry Archery Center and Gator Bowman in Gainesville has over 100 archers registered to compete at one or both locations Saturday and Sunday.

Clay County Festival Schedule
Friday, June 11

8:00 a.m. – Pickleball (Singles), Ronnie Van Zant Park, Green Cove Springs
5:30 p.m.- Disc Golf (Doubles), Ronnie Van Zant Park, Green Cove Springs

Saturday, June 12
8:00 a.m. – Pickleball (M/W Doubles), Ronnie Van Zant Park, Green Cove Springs
9:00 a.m.- Disc Golf (Singles), Ronnie Van Zant Park, Green Cove Springs
9:30 a.m. – Canoe/Kayak Marathon, Middleburg Boat Ramp (Onsite registration available beginning at 8:30 a.m.)
9:30 a.m. – Ultimate, Plantation Sports Complex, Fleming Island

Sunday, June 13
8:00 a.m. – Pickleball (Mixed Doubles), Ronnie Van Zant Park, Green Cove Springs
9:30 p.m. – Ultimate, Plantation Sports Complex, Fleming Island

Alachua County Festival Schedule
Friday, June 11

9:30 a.m. – Artistic Swimming, Stephen C. O’Connell Center

Saturday, June 12
9:00 a.m. – Archery, Easton Newberry Archery Center and Gator Bowman (Onsite registration available at both locations beginning at 8:00 a.m.)
9:30 a.m. – Artistic Swimming, Stephen C. O’Connell Center F, Juriday, June 11

Sunday, June 13
9:00 a.m. – Archery, Easton Newberry Archery Center and Gator Bowman (Onsite registration available at both locations beginning at 8:00 a.m.)
9:30 a.m. – Artistic Swimming, Stephen C. O’Connell Center

Including this weekend’s sports, over 1,500 of Florida’s Finest Amateur Athletes will have competed in 12 sports in nine Florida cities between May 29 and June 13.

The Sunshine State Games, Florida’s only Olympic-style Sports Festival, is presented annually by the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida. The 2021 Games are presented in conjunction with Clay County Tourism and Airstream Ventures, the Gainesville Sports Commission, Florida’s Sports Coast and Polk County Sports Marketing. The Sunshine State Games is part of the state’s $57.4 billion sports industry that accounts for 580,000 jobs statewide.