PHOTOS: Recreation: Great Dock Canoe Race on tap for Saturday

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— The Great Dock Canoe Race is finally here.

The theme of Saturday's event is “Let the Games Begin!!” in celebration of the Olympic year. Olympic bronze medalist and local resident Brian Shimer will serve as grand marshal of the race.

The race is run in three heats, starting at 11:45 a.m. with the Tippycanoe VIP Sprint, which features canoes paddled by principals of local organizations through a 700-yard course. Two traditional races follow on the course. The first at 12:45 p.m. features Ambitious Amateurs, who are racing largely for fun. The Next Generation teams pairing a 12- to 17-year-old with a parent or guardian are encouraged to compete in this heat. The other race starts at 1:45 p.m. and showcases Practically Professionals, some of whom train year-round for the competition.

The overall race winner is the team that wins the Practically Professionals heat. Trophies or ribbons are awarded to winners of both heats and to three Next Generation teams.

A $5,000 grant is awarded yearly to a children’s charity, and this year’s beneficiary will be Lighthouse of Collier, Inc., which fosters independence and enhances quality of life for the blind, visually impaired and their caregivers.

Except for the Next Generation class, entrants must be 18 years or older, and the registration fee for each two-person team is $30, which includes a T-shirt for each competitor.

16 receive GCR scholarships: The Gulf Coast Runners awarded scholarships and gold medals to 16 Collier County high school seniors during the Tropicool 5K race events Sunday.

Recipients were chosen by a committee of GCR board members based upon cross country and/or track accomplishments during high school, volunteer hours at GCR races and need for financial help in college.

Recipients, with their schools and award totals were Mackenson Timothee, Golden Gate; Argeo Cruz, Immokalee; and Gabriella Paisan and Richard Crum, Barron Collier, $4,000 each; Lauren Berthelsen and Catherine Calyore, Barron Collier, $2,000 each; Sherlin Herard, Golden Gate, and Meaghan Barry, Barron Collier, $1,500 each; Katherine Carney, Naples; Hillary Harlan, Palmetto Ridge; Andrew Lem, Lely; and Alexandria MacGowen and Andrew Nashed, Gulf Coast; Keith Scott, Community School; and Emily Ullrich, St. John Neumann, $1,000 each; and Maggie Teach, Barron Collier, $500.

Training center to open at Germain: Athletic Republic, specializing in science-based performance athletic training, will open its newest training center May 29 at Germain Arena.

Germain Arena recently was named the sixth-best minor league sports venue in North America. It is the home of the Florida Everblades, the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers.

The Athletic Republic facility will be the official training center of the Everblades and will work with the Junior “B” and youth programs. It will be situated on the second level between the two practice ice surfaces.

Since 1990 more than 800,000 athletes have taken advantage of Athletic Republic’s sport-specific training programs designed to enhance speed, power and agility.

Redfish Challenge is May 15: The Lee Memorial Health System Foundation's sixth annual Ryan McCleskey Memorial Redfish Challenge will be May 15. The annual tournament honors Ryan McCleskey, whose fight against cancer ended February 2006.

Boats will leave from the marina at Cape Harbour in Cape Coral. The captains meeting will take place May 14 at the Twisted Conch, 837 S.E. 47th Terrace in Cape Coral.

The event includes a top prize of $1,500 with other prizes at $750 and $500. Winners are determined by the combined weight of two fish.

The entry fee is $250 per team/boat of 3-4 anglers. For information or to register, call 938-5272.

Catch & Release is in June: The 21st annual Caloosa Catch & Release Shootout is June 3 to 6 at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa on Fort Myers Beach.

Anglers will fish for redfish, trout, snapper and flounder. Tournament check-in begins at 3 p.m. June 3, and competition opens June 4. Call Ron Riley at 671-9347 or Kristi Riley at 850-1707.

Share your event or accomplishment by e-mailing sports@naplesnews.com

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