Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sports in Chattanooga

"UTC's Ricky Taylor drives against Appalachian State at McKenzie Arena "Copyright © Times Free Press
Sports fan have no shortage of entertainment in Chattanooga, whether you want to watch or participate. Here of some of the great ways to get involved:

Since the 1930s, the Chattanooga Lookouts have been the city's home team. The once played at historic Engel Stadium, which was recently used as a location in the upcoming film 42 about Jackie Robinson and featuring Harrison Ford. Today they play at the AT&T Field downtown, which is quickly becoming a Chattanooga classic.

The Chattanooga Football Club is a nationally ranked amateur soccer league established in 2009. They play at Finley Stadium, which is primarily used for football of a different kind-- the American kind, and is the home stadium of the UTC Mocs. The CFC has a loyal following and home games are always an exciting event.

One of the Chattanooga Roller Girls ready for derby time
Copyright © 
Michael Hampton, originally published on
The Chattanooga Roller Girls have been skating tough and winning hard since 2008. They were founded "with the hope of bringing together free-thinking, strong women to experience roller derby in Chattanooga while giving back to their community." True to the spirit of the sport, Chattanooga's roller girls have great professional names like Llama Trauma, Luna Shovegood, and Curb Stompin' Cupcake.
Whether you are into college football, women's basketball, volleyball, or any number of other great collegiate sports, the UTC Mocs offer a wide range of games to cheer for. Though the mascot has changed several times over the years, from Chief Mocanooga, a generic Indian chief deemed politically incorrect in recent decades, to various incarnations of Scrappy the Mockingbird, what hasn't changed is school and hometown spirit.

Scuba Clause at the Tennessee Aquarium
Copyright © Tennessee Aquarium
Chattanooga offers a variety of disc golf courses, including The Sinks in Hixson, a course at Cloudland Canyon, the Carver Recreation center, and several other spots in the area. Disc golf enthusiasts will also be happy to know there is a local ultimate frisbee league.

Choo Choo Diving and Aquatic Center offers scuba lessons and certification, as well as swim lessons for kids. Whether you want to introduce your children to scuba for an upcoming vacation, need to learn for Red Cross emergency training, or want to get certified so you can volunteer a fish-feeder at the Tennessee Aquarium, Choo Choo has the resources necessary. 

Whitewater rafting the Occoee
Both SUP Paddle Board and L2 Paddle Board have brought this sport, once little-known outside the Pacific Northwest, to Chattanooga. Both offer rentals, tours, classes (including yoga!) and sell boards if you want to strike out on your own.

Chattanooga is a dream for kayakers and canoers, with its hundreds of miles of rivers and lakes for smoother waters and the nearby Occoee River (featured in the 1996 Olympic Games hosted in Atlanta Georgia) for white water adventures. The Occoee is occasionally dry, with its water diverted by TVA to generate electrical power. Because it is such a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, however, according to American Whitewater, "TVA agreed to schedule 116 days of recreational whitewater releases per year on the Middle Ocoee. Whitewater racing events have been held on the Ocoee since 1978, bringing the river to the attention of the world. The Ocoee has also been called the birthplace of freestyle kayaking, hosting the first-ever Ocoee Rodeo at Second Helping in 1983. [And attracts] over 250,000 visitors annually."

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