With decades of knowledge in their collective backgrounds, the team behind Sun Country Sports Center has a keen sense for what young athletes need to succeed. From former collegiate gymnasts to climbing experts, the staff pulls from their professional pasts to instruct thousands of children each week.
By: Caitlyn Finnegan
The center’s 40,000-square-foot main facility, located in Newberry at 333 SW 140th Terrace, houses seven sports programs and is joined by two other facilities: a competitive gymnastics facility in theMillhopper community and a mobile training center that travels to local schools and carnivals.
Director of Operations Jodi Bennett Hunt, along with her staff of about 65, work to provide a safe and inspiring environment for young athletes, offering gymnastics, tumbling, cheer, martial arts, swimming, rock climbing and fencing instruction to 1,500 children each week and interacting with even more students as part of its Stay and Play childcare program.
Hunt’s mother, Linda Bennett, founded Sun Country in 1987 and still helps lead the competitive gymnastics team today. The main complex has since grown to include:
- a multipurpose gym,
- rock-climbing area,
- three-story playground and
- outdoor pool.
The brightly decorated facilities stand out from competing gyms with the help of tight-knit, knowledgeable instructors.
“It was a family business when we started, and we want to continue to make our staff feel like family today,” Hunt says.
Address: 333 SW 140th Terrace, Newberry, FL
Office Highlights: The outdoor pool area, added in 2009, brought in the new opportunity for a swimming program. The facility currently has programs for gymnastics, tumbling, cheer, martial arts, swimming, rock climbing and fencing.