NEW PORT RICHEY — Earlier this month, Pasco County hosted its first Camp Gladiator competition.
Nine 10-member teams each gathered at the vacant field at Little and Trouble Creek Roads and were challenged with five events, including an obstacle course, a tractor tire flip, speed ball, relay race and a 50-yard pull of a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office SWAT vehicle.
Founded in 2008 by American Gladiator winner Ally Davidson, Camp Gladiator offers men and and women of all ages and fitness levels an opportunity for outdoor exercise in a competitive environment. Currently, there are 25 camps in the Tampa Bay area.
“Camp Gladiator challenges the traditional ideas of fitness by taking participants out of the gym and into parks and fields,” Camp Gladiator Regional Director Maryann Cannavina said. “Certified personal trainers are on hand to give strength and conditioning advice. We’re also here to explain the events and give encouragement to the athletes.”
Together with co-Regional Director Jessica Fant and seven trainers, Cannavina was able to draw more than 50 corporate sponsors. Proceeds benefited the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
“The funds we receive will go towards building a training facility for our canine unit in Land O’ Lakes,” Sheriff spokesperson Christine Dzikonski said.
For the participants, it’s an opportunity to workout, compete and make new friends.
“It’s in our blood,” Susan Brennan, 48, said. “I’m here for the camaraderie and to help worthy causes. I want to exercise and be in shape, but the traditional health clubs get boring. Plus, they’re indoors. Here, you get a full body workout in the fresh air.”
For information, log onto www.campgladiator.com or contact Cannavina at (727) 698-7768.
Correspondent Cliff Gill can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ReporterCliff