Joleen Cacciatore
Executive Director, Gainesville Sports Commission

I have been a part of the Greater Gainesville area since accepting a job here in 2006. From the moment you start looking around, you realize this is a very young, active and energetic town. There are a wide variety of recreation leagues in the area, not to mention the many nature parks used for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Alachua County truly is a place where nature, cultural and sports meet!

The City of Gainesville and its sister cities have unique sporting and fitness facilities known within the state and throughout the nation. You and your family can find sports to play or watch in the Greater Gainesville area practically every day of the year.

Of course Gainesville is best known as the home of the University of Florida, whose sporting traditions and successes need no further introduction (Go Gators!). The university’s top-notch championship venues ensure a great atmosphere for watching top college teams and athletes compete. Attending UF events is not just for students, and is a great value for a fun family outing. It’s one of the many perks of living in a college town.

The Greater Gainesville area’s sporting culture isn’t simply limited to UF. The City of Alachua boasts the ever-growing-and-modernizing Hal Brady Recreation Center. The complex includes a gymnasium, multiple softball and baseball diamonds, soccer fields and football facilities, which are used for many youth sport leagues.

The sport of archery has exploded in popularity in the area with the opening of the Easton Newberry Sports Complex as a designated Olympic development facility. It’s one of the best archery facilities in the nation. You can join a league or enjoy it recreationally with family and friends during the open archery times.

The City of Newberry is also the home of Champions Park complex. It is the newest facility in the area and offers high level youth baseball and fast pitch softball play. This 16-field elite baseball complex hosts multiple regional and national tournaments each year with participants traveling from all over the country.

The City of High Springs is home to the High Springs BMX, which organizes several BMX events and trains all ages of riders from five-year-olds and up. Families can stop by during the practice times and try the BMX track for free or become a member.

During any day of the week, the Jonesville Park is a main spot for families in search of athletic activities, with soccer, tennis, disc golf and baseball facilities available. There are organized recreation leagues and competitive travel teams at all levels of play available for different ages.

Wherever you live in the Greater Gainesville area, you will be able to find a place to go in this active and sports-loving community. Whether it is in downtown Gainesville jogging the new Depot Park or on a canoe in Poe Springs, there is a place for you and your family to enjoy. 

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