2021 Sunshine State Games Features Three Festival Locations beginning in May

Contact: Nick Gandy, media@playinflorida.com or 850-322-3404

TALLAHASSEE – The 2021 Sunshine State Games Calendar of Events begins the weekend of March 20-21 with the SSG/AAU Volleyball Grand Prix in Pasco County, Wiregrass Ranch Sports Complex.

The volleyball event, with more than 90 youth teams competing, is the first of more than 20 sports in Florida’s only Olympic-style Sports Festival that has provided Floridians amateur sports opportunities for over 40 years.

The 2021 Calendar features three festival locations in Alachua, Clay and Polk counties.  While Alachua and Polk County have been regular fixtures in hosting Sunshine State Games events over the years, this is the first time the Games have visited Clay County.

“Clay County is excited to serve as host of the Sunshine State Games and introduce the participants, supporters, and fans of these sports to our area,” said Mike Cella, Chairman, Clay County Board of County Commissioners. “We appreciate the Florida Sports Foundation’s support of our efforts to become more of a sports destination and look forward to a great weekend of competition that will be spread throughout our area.”

Each of the three locations offers a unique variety of sports to reach a broad scope of amateur sports endeavors.

The Polk County Festival, May 28-30, offers three martial arts sports with Judo, Karate/Katsu and Taekwondo.  These three events will be held at the RP Funding Center in downtown Lakeland. Powerlifting and Olympic Weightlifting will be held at the Auburndale Community Center. Also taking place in Polk County will be Table Tennis, at the Simpson Park Community Center, a hotbed of the sport in the state of Florida.

The Clay County Festival, held June 11-13, features Pickleball making its Sunshine State Games Festival debut at Ronnie Van Zant Park, in Green Cove Springs.  While being held at a Sunshine State Games Festival, the event is a qualifier for the 2021 Florida Senior Games.  Disc Golf will also be offered at Ronnie Van Zant Park. On the water, Canoe/Kayak Marathon races will be held at the Middleburg Boat Ramp. Ultimate teams will be on the field at the Plantation Sports Complex in Fleming Island and Baton Twirling takes place at Oakleaf High School in Orange Park.

Alachua County and the city of Gainesville, the birthplace of the Sunshine State Games in 1980, hosts several sports that have been contested in the Games since its inaugural year, June 5-6 and June 11-13.  Archery, Basketball, Fencing, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming and Track and Field, have produced national champions and Olympians over the years.  Softball and Tennis return to the Sunshine State Games Calendar of Events in the Alachua County Festival.

March 21-22
Volleyball – AAU Grand Prix
Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus, Wesley Chapel

May 28-30
Polk County Festival
Sports Offered: Judo , Karate / Katsu, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Powerlifting

June 11-13
Clay County Festival
Sports Offered: Baton Twirling, Canoe Kayak/Marathon, Disc  Golf, Pickleball, Ultimate

June 5-6, 11-13
Alachua County Festival
Sports Offered: Archery, Basketball, Fencing, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field

June 26-27
Flag Football Championships, Indian Trails Sports Complex, Palm Coast

Schedule subject to change.

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.

For competition and registration information for the more than 20 sports of the 2021 Sunshine State Games, please visit, www.sunshinestategames.com or follow the Games on Facebook.

The Florida Sports Foundation

The Florida Sports Foundation, a 501(C) 3 non-profit corporation, is the official sports promotion and development organization for the State of Florida. It is charged with the promotion and development of professional, amateur, recreational sports, and physical fitness opportunities that produce a thriving Florida sports industry and environment. With a seemingly endless list of sporting ventures and venues, the Florida Sports Foundation strives to promote Florida’s unique sports industry. The Foundation’s staff is dedicated to serving the needs and interests of Florida’s sports community and assists with all questions concerning Florida sporting activities and issues.


About the Gainesville Sports Commission

Founded in 1988, the Gainesville Sports Commission (GSC) is a not-for-profit organization that strives to promote tourism through sports while creating a positive economic impact on Gainesville and Alachua County. The Gainesville Sports Commission is a liaison that brings sporting events to our local community and assists with hosting, creating and supporting over 45 events annually. Since its inception, Gainesville Sports Commission has directly contributed more than 300 million dollars of economic growth. By bringing participants and spectators to sporting events, Gainesville Sports Commission creates approximately 20 million dollars annually of direct economic impact for our community.