The Florida Sports Hall of Fame recognizes and honors Florida’s greatest sports figures and leverages this collective celebrity to promote fitness awareness, education and sports activities among our state’s youth and adults. Equally important is the promotion of the qualities of discipline and honor among sports participants.
The Florida Sports Hall of Fame was founded by the Florida Sports Writers Association and the Florida Sportscasters Association in 1961. Through its history, much focus was placed on pinpointing a “home” for the Hall. The first of these was at Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven in 1977. It then moved north to Lake City in 1990 and enjoyed several successful years before it was decided that a move to a Central Florida location would make it more easily accessible by Florida residents. The Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale housed the Hall beginning in 2010. Today much of the current memorabilia can be viewed at Central Florida’s Visitor Information Center at 101 Adventure Court in the Lakeland-Winter Haven area of Polk County.
In its 58th year, The Florida Sports Hall of Fame continues its mission to honor our vast sports heritage by taking the inspiring stories of its 261 current members to the people of Florida. This outreach comes in the form of a preview center for housing memorabilia provided by the members, the hosting of an annual enshrinement for the purpose of inducting new members into the Hall of Fame and other outreach programs such as Fame for Fitness which raises awareness about the growing concern of childhood obesity and children’s diabetes).
The Florida Sports Hall of Fame makes a difference in the lives of our youth and honors the struggle, perseverance, and achievement of our state’s best teams, athletes, and coaches. Aside from our campaign to combat childhood obesity and childhood diabetes, our mission also speaks to the promotion of the qualities of discipline and honor among our state’s young athletes. It is our goal to use the life-stories and lessons learned by our Hall of Fame members to encourage and support today’s competitors.
In coordination with the Legends Live! Tour we will make our Hall of Fame members available for a series of school, team and camp visits for the purpose of using their stories of success in sports and life to educate and encourage our state’s young people. We will:
- Encourage the students of our state to make healthy lifestyle choices through the Hall’s award winning Fame for Fitness initiative.
- Inspire Florida’s youth to become leaders on and off the field through the Florida Sports Hall of Fame’s life skills initiatives, stressing honor and discipline.
- Share inspirational stories of the road to success that our Hall of Famers have achieved on a national and world-wide level. These lessons will give aspiring young athletes an historical perspective into the path to greatness in sports and in life.