As it does every four years, the summer Olympics return in August to celebrate sporting achievement from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Even if you don’t fly to South America, you can enjoy all the pageantry from the comfort of your own home. If all this excellence inspires you or your family members to participate in athletic competition, the Central Valley has plenty of options to offer. Joining a sports club may not only fuel the competitive dreams but enhances your Olympic viewing since you’ll be watching events with a trained eye.
Track and Field
With minimal equipment requirements, distance efforts ranging from sprints to marathons, and activities that include running, jumping and throwing, track and field yields the largest number of competitors at the Olympics. USA Track and Field lists over two dozen member and non-member track clubs in the Central Valley. The Kings River Track Club in Reedley is typical. The membership fee includes uniforms although separate entry fees are charged for meets. Both group and personal training are available.
Don’t let the lack of a coastline deter you from jumping into the water. USA Swimming encourages competitive swimming in Central California and across the country through such clubs as the Visalia Area Swim Team. Meeting at various Visalia high schools, the team gets athletes started with an entry-level Bronze Group program that only requires swimming half the length of a pool unassisted. The highest level Senior Group program requires at least a two-our pool training. That involves swimming 5,000 to 6,000 yards, gym training, and a competitive meet schedule.
USA Boxing, the national governing body for amateur boxing, breaks down its member clubs by state. Of the 233 in California, a few are located in the Central Valley, such as Thrive Boxing in Fresno. Men, women and children can train through classes and private coaches at their facility. The club also has contacts with promoters, managers, and strength and conditioning coaches. They provide a fitness boxing option for those who want to punch their way to an effective full-body workout without necessarily fighting in the ring.
With so much open land in the area, you’re right to assume that options are available for those who love horses. At Wood N’ Horse Training Stables, for example, you can learn how to ride or, if you’re already comfortable the saddle, rent an hour or two on horseback at beautiful local trails. If you own a horse, facilities are available to care for it, including some with lighted arenas, monthly pasture rental, and stalls with padlocks.
What boy or girl doesn’t like to run around, tumble, and just generally use his or her body to interact with the world? You can parlay this natural instinct for physical activity into gymnastics. Given the years of training required to compete in the sport, the time to start is when they are young. Fortunately, Tulare County has over 150 facilities where such training can begin. At Central California Gymnastics Institute, classes are available for those as young as 18 months to three years. Older athletes will find such equipment as parallel bars, horizontal bars, springboards, a trampoline, and low and high beams.
If you want to know more about Olympic inspired activities in the area, or want to check out one of our homes for sale in Tulare County, please contact us.