While most people’s biggest water-related fear might be sharks, Phil Pektas's was children. Not the kids themselves, of course, but the prospect of teaching them. This terror first surfaced when he was tapped to fill in for the Pre-K instructor at the swim school where he taught. Fortunately, he conquered that fear during the very first lesson and 20 years later is still introducing young people to the necessary skills for ensuring safe, aquatic fun. Pektas and his staff of American Red Cross–, CPR-, and First-Aid- certified instructors use activities, toys, and analogies to improve performance in the pool. With games such as Bird Catcher, kids will learn how to control their breathing and hunt for sub-aquatic fowl indigenous to chlorinated pools.
Offered Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m., Minute Maid Park tours provide an insider’s guide to a great American ballpark in a fact-filled approximately one-hour stroll. Reflecting Houston’s historical relationship with railroads, the park’s most distinct feature is a full-sized locomotive that runs along 800 feet of track in left field and is regularly held up by a tatterdemalion gang of thieving cowboys. Incorporating red brick masonry, a lush natural grass surface, and a retractable roof, “The Juice Box” boasts a 40,976-person capacity for baseball games and is a also a prime locale for recreating Braveheart battle scenes. Visitors will be led by a pleasantly colloquial tour guide that usually provides illuminating access to areas such as the broadcasting booth, press boxes, the dugouts, luxury suites, and lightsaber training areas–all of which are much more interesting than the Alamo’s basement.
The history of today's Atlanta Braves traces back to 1876 in Boston, where the team played as the Red Stockings. In the more than 100 years since, the club lived like a nomadic tribe, claiming two World Series titles in separate cities before finally landing in Atlanta in 1966. There, they found reason to settle down, winning an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles, as well as another World Series in 1995. Throughout the years, many of baseball's all-time greats have donned the Braves uniform, including Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Cy Young. Opened in 1997, Turner Field serves as the club's home turf, relaying the action on a 29'x38' BravesVision video board as a 27' neon tomahawk menaces visiting players and vegetables alike.
Dr. David Shaw draws from more than 20 years of chiropractic experience to achieve one goal: to help patients get rid of pain without drugs. To do so, he targets sore or injured areas with a combination of traditional chiropractic adjustments and advanced technology. When healing soft tissue, he targets sore areas with a noninvasive cold laser designed to break up internal scar tissue and stimulate cell reproduction.
Donning armor of red, purple, and gold, Orlando City has established itself as one of the USL Pro’s most dominant teams, winning USL Pro championships in 2011—its inaugural season—and 2012. After their second championship, the squad’s success attracted the attention of the MLS’s Sporting Kansas City, who will serve as Orlando City’s parent squad for two years, beginning with the 2013 season.
The Orlando Predators stampede into the Arena Football League’s 25th season boasting the debut of a new head coach and retooled roster. Former Predators player and Winter Park native Bret Munsey brings with him both a new playbook and ArenaBowl championship expectations, telling the Orlando Sentinel upon his hiring, “[The Predators] want to win [this] year, and I’ve got to find a way to do that.” The front office has contributed to the championship campaign with new additions on both sides of the ball. Recently acquired quarterback Trevor Harris will compete with Collin Drafts for the duties of breaking the team out of each huddle and igloo-encased locker room. On defense, new nose tackle Richard Clebert dominates the line of scrimmage by clogging foes’ running lanes, as he did in his last two seasons on a pair of ArenaBowl championship teams.