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Clearwater is Florida's Sportstown

February 18, 2004

Melanie Cornwell
Public Information Coordinator
(727) 562-4837

Clearwater has been selected as the Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Sportstown by Sports Illustrated and the National Recreation and Parks Association. Clearwater Parks & Recreation is being honored as Florida's leading provider of sports facilities, and its commitment to provide programs and services for participants of all backgrounds and ability levels.

Clearwater was judged on philosophy, policy/procedures, education and training strategies, youth development strategies, community commitment to parks and recreation resources, innovations for community development, and scope of the programming.

Clearwater champions the benefits of recreation by facilitating and enhancing quality sports. The city partners with 16 co-sponsor groups and more than 30 other local, state, national and international sports organizations and/or interests to offer participants the opportunity to reap the benefits of activities that they can enjoy for a lifetime.

Clearwater has produced numerous championship teams and athletes, but greater numbers have been involved for the joy and benefit of participation. Beginning with preschoolers in the National Alliance for Youth Sports Start Smart program, which introduces preschoolers to sports and helps guide their skill development, to recreational and competitive sporting opportunities to life-long sporting pursuits, Clearwater Parks & Recreation takes seriously its role as caretaker of the quality of life.

Participant safety is always of the utmost concern, and the department has established maintenance standards to ensure the finest playing surfaces possible at our 50 playing fields. Then comes the fun. Our goal is that each participant

  1. experience the joy of play,
  2. develop and improve skills and learn new ones,
  3. appreciate the benefits of an active life style,
  4. learn respect for rules and regulations,
  5. develop social skills,
  6. learn and master the sport of their choice,
  7. experience competition,
  8. learn and practice good sportsmanship,
  9. learn teamwork and to become a team player, and
  10. experience and manage success and disappointment

The City demonstrates its commitment to sports through financial support and human resources. Contributing to our success are significant accomplishment during the last five years, including

  • constructing a new Aquatics and Athletic facility with two indoor basketball courts at NGRAC,
  • constructing five new softball fields at Eddie C. Moore Complex,
  • constructing and enhancing approximately 3.5 miles of recreational paths which are used by bicyclists, runners, joggers and skaters,
  • constructing a new Aquatics facility on Clearwater Beach,
  • constructing the Bright House Networks Field, home for the Philadelphia Phillies' Spring Training and the Clearwater Threshers grapefruit league,
  • converting eight asphalt tennis courts to eight Hydro Grid Soft Courts and remodeling the McMullen Tennis Complex,
  • designing a 30,000 square foot skate park and new gymnasium at Norton Complex,
  • installing new fencing and lighting systems at 15 ball fields,
  • refurbishing two Disc Golf courses,
  • renovating and constructing practice soccer fields at Countryside High School, and
  • resurfacing more than 60 tennis courts.

Clearwater's 400 volunteers are also instrumental to the success of our sports programming efforts. The Clearwater NAYS Chapter was recently recognized as an outstanding chapter, with the selection of the Chapter Director as a NAYS Volunteer of the Year.

Each year, almost 500,000 people participate in our more than 270 sports activities and 60 tournaments. Sports sanctioning bodies often seek out Clearwater to serve a host site for Local, State and National Tournaments.

When you see the special commemorative road signs that recognize Clearwater as an official Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Sportstown, know that Clearwater is committed to continuing to finding creative and resourceful ways to enhance sports and promote youth development, lifelong health, and environmental stewardship.

Read Sports Illustrated's Press Release

Clearwater Sports Photo Gallery:

Click on any thumbnail below to view the full-size image.

Beach Volleyball image Cougar Football image
Cougar Cheerleaders image High Jump image
Collage of Clearwater sports images