While best known for the University of Florida Gators, you don’t have to be a fan or a university student to enjoy the athletics Greater Gainesville has to offer.
Gainesville, Florida, is home to some of the greatest sports teams in the nation. From UF’s number one ranked men’s baseball team to an unstoppable women’s volleyball team, there is no shortage of opportunities to see amazing sports in action. But what if you want to do more than just cheer from the sidelines? Greater Gainesville has many sports teams to join for residents of all ages. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to enjoy all that Gainesville has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a friendly kickball league, swimming or soccer team, Gainesville will offer you options.
The City of Gainesville hosts an extensive list of sports programs every year for the youth in the community. Children ages 4 to 14 can choose from cheerleading, tennis, football, softball, baseball and basketball. The programs run year-round and practices meet after school. In the summer, special sports camps are available. In addition to the normal youth leagues, the City of Gainesville partners with local non-profit organization Noah’s Endeavor to sponsor adaptive sports programs for children with special physical and developmental needs.
The fun isn’t limited to just children. There are multiple leagues for adults in the area, as well. Anyone 18 years or older can join a league put on by the City of Gainesville, which include co-ed softball, volleyball and basketball. The games are at night so even the busiest of workers can get involved. Have a group of friends who want to start a team? All you need to do is register with the City of Gainesville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department. These adults sports leagues are a great way to connect with friends, meet new people and get your mind off of the daily stresses of life for a couple of hours.
In addition to children and adult leagues, the City of Gainesville also sponsors programs and activities for senior citizens. Residents over the age of 60 can engage in outdoor activities every day of the week. The activities, which take place at the Thelma A. Boltin Recreation Center, are completely free.
Most Gainesville residents are well-acquainted with Gator football, but more obscure sports have also been gaining popularity in recent years, and Greater Gainesville has been quick to jump on the trend. Gainesville has two ultimate Frisbee courses that are certified by the Professional Disc Golf Association, Jonesville and Northside Park. Gainesville Chain Hawks Disc Golf Club hosts events and tournaments year-round at the parks and engages people from around the county. They don’t require any experience to get involved, just a passion to learn.
Gainesville has activities for everyone, including the daredevils and adrenaline-junkies. At Sun County Sports Center, you can climb a 2,500-square-foot rock wall made to feel like a real mountain. Race a group of friends up the wall, take lessons, join the climbing club or even make a family fun day out of it.
Your climbing doesn’t have to be limited to an indoor gym. Canopy Climbers of North Central Florida is an organization that teaches people how to climb trees. The purpose of the organization is to help people connect with nature and each other in a safe, challenging and fun environment. Anyone ages 8+ can spend a day or two learning how to safely defy gravity and climb trees they can brag about.
Greater Gainesville is a thriving community rich in health and fitness. You don’t need to be a university student or Gator fan to enjoy the activities and sports that are offered. Whether you’re just learning how to throw a Frisbee or are passionate about competitive swimming, you’ll be able to find a group of people as dedicated as you right around the corner.