The Annual Adventist Youth Track and Field Invitational Games gained its inception through the combined efforts of the AYM department of the First Ebenezer SDA Church, Pines SDA Church and Coconut Grove SDA Church. Out of First Ebenezer, Pines and Coconut Grove sisterhood of churches a Youth Planning Retreat was organized under the theme “Adventist Youth: Reclaiming God’s Agenda”, led by Kenton O’Connor, the AYM Leader of First Ebenezer “now West Park SDA”. At the initial meeting, the three Church, AYM Council members became acquainted with each other, then formed a committee to unite in worship as they discover God’s plan for their lives. The responsibility of the committee was to plan a wide cross-section of activities and implement programs for the holistic development of the youth in the sisterhood of churches and foster better relationships in 2011 and beyond. Hence, one of the combine efforts is now known as “SoFlo Adventist Olympic Games”.
After an unrelenting search to a find a site that would allow for extensive camaraderie through sports and competition, the games was debuted at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Florida on July 31, 2011. In its first year, the games drew an attendance of approximately 500 Adventist youths and their friends from the South Florida area, showing significant potential for growth and development. It has become a time when athletes thrill spectators with their feats of amazing physical and mental agility and endurance. It is a time when the taste of victory is sweet and the flavor of loss is bitter. It is a time when character comes to the fore, and the mettle of which women and men are made or manifest; when the victors are humble and the unsuccessful are gracious and we are all friends at the end of the day.
Transformation over time
2011 – 2013 was awesome for SoFlo; each year patron left wanting more and can’t wait for the next year. The compliments kept rolling in. Here are a few: “Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication in putting together this great Sports Day. I truly enjoyed it and look forward to next year. Our kids had a blast”…. “I'm thankful this program exists for our church community. You've provided a great opportunity for our children to participate in a variety of sports which has allowed more confidence and personal growth to develop. “……“Just a note to tell you how impressed I was with how organized the Sports Day and the venue is world class”….. "This is a really good way to bring the Adventist young people together, well thought out, I am impressed to participate next time.
2012 the name was officially changed to the SoFlo Adventist Sports Association.
2014 rolls in and we extended invitation for other churches to be a part of the planning along with the SEC Health and Family Ministries. Hence dubbed the entire weekend “SoFlo Adventist Enrichment & Olympic Games”. We now have an active committee that plans a Friday night Prayer and Praise Service, a Hugh Sabbath Celebration including a Concert in the evening. And on Sunday, the Olympic Games and Health Fair. SoFlo Adventist Sports Association also change venue from Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar to Joseph C. Cater Park in Fort Lauderdale. We have also added Soccer and Volleyball in 2014 and introduce Basketball for 2015. Since the inception of the “Games” in 2011, we have seen an increase from 400 - 600 amateur athletes participated in the “Games” and over 2,500 – 3,000 supporters and the rest is HISTORY…..
“The SoFlo Games represents an outstanding opportunity for local, regional and national businesses and churches to support athletes and promote healthy lifestyles. We welcome your participation as a sponsor and partner. Come be a part of this unique and exciting event”.