The original Strikers were born in 1977, when the Miami Toros moved to Broward County. Donning their popular red-and-gold hooped uniforms, the team experienced instant success—so much so that Lockhart Stadium underwent two seating expansions to accommodate the club's rapidly growing fan base. During those years, a playoff game between the Strikers and New York Cosmos drew a crowd of 77,691, which still stands as the record for a U.S. Pro League soccer match and most people squished into a single soccer net.
Even with all their success, the Strikers relocated to Minnesota after the 1983 season. The team returned five years later, and for more than two decades, competed as part of several leagues. Finally, after a failed attempted to bring Major League Soccer to Miami, the Miami FC of the United Soccer League decided to officially adopt the Strikers moniker and move to the North American Soccer League for the 2011 season. The Strikers didn't waste any time announcing their rebirth, as they made the league's championship series that same season.
When Christina Theiss, owner of Swim with Gills, was asked by a reporter from WFLX to describe the feeling of teaching a child to swim, she responded: “It’s a magical moment. I feel like I’ve saved a life.” Since she started a traveling swim school, her feeling of accomplishment has become infectious, spreading to her fleet of swim instructors and to her husband, the second half of the Swim with Gills team. Rather than forcing their pupils to swim, they focus on building a trusting relationship with each child. This method increases students' comfort level, allowing them to gradually submerge themselves in water and achieve the complexities of mermaid sign language.
The Atlantic surf, the quiet shallow reefs, the warm stretches between islands—Jupiter Kite Paddle Wake makes these as accessible with ease. Amid racks of gear and boards by makers such as Cabrinha, North, Wainman, and Liquid Force, certified instructors wait to instill the basics of boarding in newcomers with kiteboarding lessons. Jupiter Kite Paddle Wake teaches everything from board set-up, to finding the wind, to idling patiently at sea turtle-crossings. Coaches are also happy to impart the basics of standup paddleboard cruising and racing in semi-private lessons, or train students to leave flat water and master cutting through the waves with paddleboard-surfing sessions. But the focus doesn't remain on oceanic newbies alone. Experienced aquanauts can join guides for private tours, or participate in on-water yoga classes atop their boards.
Jungle Club is about more than sweating like you?re in the middle of a tropical jungle. It combines physical activity and fun into one sports complex. Spend a day in the sun with a game of tennis followed by an afternoon swimming laps in the 25-meter pool. Indoors, a full gym includes resistance training, cardio equipment, and a gravity studio, which strengthens bodies using the force of their own weight. And for those who do like to sweat, Jungle Club offers a large selection of weekly fitness classes, such as Zumba, yoga, tai chi, and spinning. Jungle Club also goes the extra mile with a wellness center, which offers physical therapy, massage therapy, facials, and personal training.
James Mereus's playing r?sum? includes college ball, professional play overseas, and workouts with NBA teams such as the Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, and Memphis Grizzlies. Today, he's set his sights a few inches shorter. Still, the founder of One5 Basketball, a youth camp and clinic, uses his passion and basketball IQ to teach the next generation of ballers about the fundamentals of the game. For help, he's tapped a team of equally experienced trainers: record-setting college players, overseas MVPs, and players from professional international leagues.
Through drills, games, and instruction, One5's trainers teach shooting and dribbling skills, offense and defense fundamentals, and footwork, all while helping kids improve their agility and hand-eye coordination. But Mereus's vision means his charges' experience will go beyond learning bounce passes and perfecting signatures for shoe endorsements. The ultimate mission is to instill concepts of teamwork and goal-setting, helping build confidence and self-esteem that will give athletes a will to win and the ability to learn from loss.
Small Fish Big Fish Swim School starts young, teaching kids how to swim before they learn how to walk. That way, they will have a foundation for paddling and stroking through the water with ease. Swim classes start with float techniques for babies to reduce the danger of drowning and progress through swim skills for all ages.