SPORT_oach Foley (1)

Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center Welcomes New Blue Wave Head Coach

The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) was pleased to announce last month a new addition of its line of leadership.

The center’s Blue Wave Swim program welcomed new Head Coach Todd Foley who will continue a long list of very talented coaches and is promising to lead the team towards further success.

“We are very excited to have someone of Todd’s experience and passion for working with athletes of all ages and abilities,” said Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center Executive Director Chuck Burgess.

Burgess emphasized that Foley comes to BSAC with nearly two decades of high level experience having coached for teams in Texas (Austin Aquatics and Sport Academy, Nitro Swimming), North Carolina (SwimMAC), Hawaii (University of Hawaii) and Ohio (Miami University).

“Having vast experience working with Olympians and National Team Members as well as up and coming age groupers, Todd’s leadership skills are unsurpassed,” he said. “Working in large complexes and growing teams will serve Todd well in the Greater Brandon and Tampa Bay areas with BSAC’s pool project and program goals moving forward.”

The Blue Wave athletes along with the BSAC leadership team welcomed Foley giving the coach an opportunity to share his vision and philosophy with the swimmers and parents as they head into the summer’s long course season.

“We are all excited to have Todd join BSAC’s illustrious Blue Wave program with a history of Olympic and international success,” Burgess added. “We want to wish him the best of SPORT_Olympian Jake Kaminski,success as he begins to leave his mark at BSAC.”

Archery Makes Impressive Showing in SSG Olympic-Style Sports Festivals

Dodging thunderstorms but completing all events, champions were crowned as eight sports and over 1,500 athletes made the second of three Sunshine State Games (SSG) Olympic-style Sports Festivals a popular and one of the busiest athletic events of the summer.

Held last month in the Sarasota-Bradenton area, joined by the Sunshine State Games Swimming Championships at the Dwight Hunter Northeast Pool in Gainesville, officials said that the weekend-event was a great start to the summer, promoting all the participating sports, healthy competition and active lifestyle.

Swimming began on Friday, June 5, and continued through Sunday with 120 events for athletes from age 6 through 20, as the entire Festival joined on Saturday with all seven sports competing including archery, canoe/kayak sprints, disc golf, racquetball, rowing, swimming and synchronized swimming.

Officials said that the tournament has doubled in size from the 12 teams that played in the 2006 Sunshine State Games in Miami.

Representing both ends of the age-spectrum, the festival saw athletes from as young as 7 and as old as 82.

“A lot of sports like to call themselves ‘a sport for a lifetime,’ but no other like Sunshine State Games Archery can back it up,” said Florida Sports Foundation Director of Communications, Nick Gandy.

Among the more than 160 archers registered, on the youthful side was 7 and 13-year-old Alexis and her brother Austin Hall of Valrico, joined by their father, Matt, who also participated in the event.

“I am very proud of them both and their hard work as we all take the sport very seriously,” Matt said of Austin who won gold in his devision and Alexis, who won bronze during the competition.

The family practices at Adventure Archery on S.R. 301 in Riverview.

On the more experienced side was 80-year old Sarasota archer, Roy Bowen, registered along with 82-year-old Jack Cason, from St. Petersburg.

“We had all levels of talent represented during the weekend from young archers to seasoned former Olympians,” Gandy said. “It is safe to say that the sports is reinventing itself and is reaching a lot more young athletes.”

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