South Lake Hospital’s National Training Center Provides Community Fitness Memberships, Events, Youth Programming and Olympic Training Facilities
South Lake Hospital opened the National Training Center (NTC) in 2001 with a 37,000 square foot ﬁtness facility with two group ﬁtness studios, an aquatic center with a 70 meter x 25 yard heated outdoor pool, athletic ﬁelds and a human performance lab for sports science testing. In 2002, in partnership with the State of Florida, NTC added a 400-meter outdoor track and ﬁeld complex and cross country course. The NTC also began hosting events for both community residents and athletes such as sprint triathlons, 5K/10K races, half and full marathons and track and ﬁeld events. In 2008, the NTC, partnering with Lake-Sumter Community College and guidance that emphasizes wellness. The aquatic center programs include swim lessons for all ages. Lake County, opened Legends Way Ballﬁelds for softball and baseball.
In the 1990’s, South Lake Hospital was preparing to build a new hospital in Clermont. The hospital’s administration, along with physicians and USA Triathlon, had a vision to create a true health, education and wellness campus that would not only serve the medical needs of the residents, but provide sports, health and ﬁtness to the community and beyond. The goal is to continually provide community beneﬁt that focuses on wellness and physical activity. In addition to its facilities, the NTC has built an experienced staﬀ of degreed exercise specialists and coaches who provide advanced training using the latest ﬁtness and performance techniques. The experience and medical expertise of the physical trainers and other NTC employees provide members with health-focused coaching and guidance that emphasizes wellness and healthy lifestyle choices.
“We like the NTC Home School PE Program because it is extensive and well-organized. It’s really fulﬁlling for the kids to get together to get their exercise and the right kinds of programs are available.”
-Robin Peroni, parent of a child enrolled in the NTC Home School PE Program
The health and wellness campus focuses on preventative care through sports and ﬁtness. In its ﬁrst 10 years of operation, the National Training Center has served thousands of community members through ﬁtness memberships, events and youth programming. It has also hosted thousands of athletes from over 25 countries, hundreds of colleges and dozens of Olympic athletes in various sports for training and events including track and ﬁeld, triathlon, swimming and diving, running, soccer, cycling, rugby, lacrosse, water polo, synchronized swimming, cyclo- cross and more.
South Lake Hospital oﬀers scholarships for underserved youth who could not otherwise aﬀord to participate in the various youth programs oﬀered at the NTC. To date, the hospital has provided scholarships for nearly 200 Lake County children, totaling just over $20,000. In addition to a variety of athletic programs, the NTC partners with the hospital’s education department to integrate hospital programs, combining clinical health with preventive health. NTC staﬀ work with diabetes patients, partner with participants in the hospital’s smoking cessation program, work with teenage girls to promote ﬁtness and positive body images, and helped create a home school physical education program. To complement the NTC, the hospital campus also includes an organic community garden, an outdoor permanent labyrinth, a therapeutic garden and a walking trail.
All of the NTC’s programs and services operate under the umbrella of the mission to create healthy families. The community has embraced the facility. The presence of a large professional athlete population living in the area, including 12 that qualiﬁed for the 2010 London Olympic Games, has helped elevate enthusiasm as they attend events and encourage the children participating.
The NTC’s unique blend of programming for youth, adults and athletes, makes it a facility that is one of a kind. The campus continues to evolve and grow with innovative equipment and training methods backed by world-class health and ﬁtness experts. The South Lake Hospital campus is also home to Special Olympics Florida, Brandy Johnson’s Global Gymnastics and is adjacent to the campus of Lake- Sumter State College and the University of Central Florida.