The Sport and Leisure Services Department oversees the operations of over 40 active parks, partners in the design and development of new parks and amenities, and is responsible for all county park playgrounds, recreational programs, and activities, including the operation of the G.T. Bray Recreation Center. This 50,000 square-foot recreational complex includes a gymnasium, aquatics facility, tennis center, fitness center, teen/game room, 8 clay tennis courts, 20 pickleball courts, a 50-meter pool, recreation/learn-to-swim pool, splash pad, and kiddie pool. It also houses multipurpose rooms for youth programs, exercise and fitness classes, personal training sessions, and rentals for birthday parties and social gatherings. The front desk staff is responsible for processing payments for all programs and services offered, tennis and pickleball racket repairs. stringing services, and maintaining the clay tennis courts three times per day. Staff also coordinate all county park pavilion rentals.

Athletics staff coordinate with youth and adult sports organizations serving 1,000 plus teams on over 70 athletic fields. Recreation athletic staff are also responsible for the Youth Camp Program, which includes the Summer Blast Camp, Teen Camp, specialty, and holiday camps that provide participants with a variety of supervised recreational activities and field trips. The aquatic staff manage four pool facilities located at G.T. Bray, East Bradenton, John H. Marble and Lincoln parks, which offer recreational and lap swimming, swim lessons and lifeguard training. Also managed by aquatics staff is a splash pad located at Pride Park. Manatee County also partners with Sarasota County to offer the Gulf Coast Games for Life providing 20-plus sporting events to seniors ages 50 and above to compete in.

In August 2011, a franchise license agreement was signed with Pope Golf, LLC. to operate and maintain the Manatee County Golf Course and Buffalo Creek Golf Course. Both golf courses are regulation par 72 courses and operate as daily fee golf courses open for play to the general public with discounted rates for Manatee County residents. Franchise revenues are paid to the county based on a percentage of gross revenues. Manatee County also receives revenue through franchise license agreements with United Park Services, Inc to operate county-owned concessions at Manatee and Coquina beaches.


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