In 2009, the Cleveland City Stars folded, leaving the Sixth City without a soccer franchise to call its own. Two years later, the group of local soccer supporters known as the 6th City Syndicate finally found a new team to cheer for as AFC Cleveland (its initials: A Fans' Club) joined the National Premier Soccer League, finally bringing the beloved sport back to Cleveland's glacially-formed soccer stadiums. Bolstered by the Syndicate's support, the team surged into the NPSL spotlight in its very first season, winning the first-ever Rust Belt Derby and upsetting the Erie Admirals to claim the Great Lakes Conference championship.
No matter which sport you choose at Whirlyball Cleveland, you?ll get a side order of adrenaline free of charge. If you?re in the mood for action, laser tag pits teams of players against each other in a friendly war set in an arena complete with dark hiding places and a balcony that?s perfect for sniper shots. Or, if bumper cars are more you?re thing, try whirlyball. During this sport, players race across the floor, attempting to dodge other cars and pass a whiffle ball between them until they can score on a target suspended 10 feet in the air. For a more laid back pursuit, grab your friends and take in a bowling game on the center?s private lanes that have automatic scoring, bumpers, and cosmic bowling available.
The NBA Development League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Canton Charge regale hoops fans with basketball savvy from a roster stacked with talent looking to play their way into the NBA. Donning the same yellow-and-red color scheme of their affiliate squad, the Charge compete in the East Division of the NBA D-League. The team plays in the Canton Civic Center, where sounds of cheering fans and squeaking shoes echo off of rafters and occasionally create a high-pitched rhythm that the Charge Girls, the team's dance squad, can groove to.
Fairview Park Recreation Department at the Gemini Center hosts an impressive array of classes—20 each week. They take advantage of the brand new facility's amenities, holding spinning classes in dedicated cycling rooms or teaching aquatic skills in the aerobic studio. They also hold outdoor classes during summer months, taking advantage of the sunshine and green lawns. "It's great to see members push themselves and have fun while doing it," reports the Center's group-exercise coordinator.
Beyond fitness instruction, they also use the facility to host summer camps, athletic leagues, and families looking for a day at the pool. They even built a second pool, exclusively for leisure, with waterslides, a lazy river, and submerged beauty parlors.
Founded by sports enthusiast and former adolescent Rick Hart, Jump Start Sports works to enrich pupils' childhoods by developing useful life skills through athletics. Qualified counselors employ their wealth of experience working with children to help campers learn teamwork and fair play as well as the fundamentals of fielding baseballs, scoring soccer goals, or synchronizing pom-pom work. A course structure built around age-appropriate activities, group play, and free electives ensures that students never get bored, and an 8:1 pupil-teacher ratio enables one-on-one assistance to young champions as they practice the graceful art of pitching or the scheming intrigue of free-agent contract negotiation.
From 1992–1994, the Cleveland Thunderbolts gave the city its first taste of Arena Football League action. And while the taste was but a tease at the time—the team disbanded at the end of the 1994 season—AFL fans eventually would see a return to revelry in 2008 with the arrival of the Gladiators, a team that bounced around the country like a rock band on pogo sticks before diggin’ in their cleats at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. In their first official season, the Gladiators introduced themselves in grand fashion by advancing to the franchise's first-ever conference championship game—a tough loss, to the eventual league champion Philadelphia Soul, that’s since stood as the squad’s humbling reminder of the unending effort required to achieve league dominance.