New water sports complex opens in Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah
On a 90-acre freshwater lake at Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah, small groups of athletes lined up on a starting dock, grabbed hold of a rope, jumped on their wakeboards and got pulled onto the water with an overhead cable system.
They glided on the clear water, flipping and spinning in the air as they hit ramps and other obstacles in the lake. Fellow athletes looked on and cheered as the wake boarders jumped off the ramps and made it back to the dock.One hundred athletes from all over the world converged in Hialeah this weekend to celebrate the opening of South Florida’s first water sports complex and compete in an international wakeboarding tournament.
Omeir Saeed traveled from Abu Dhabi to participate in the competition. He started wakeboarding at 13.“My friends took me to a wake park one day and I just got enthusiastic,” he said. “When you’re on the cable, you forget everything.”Saeed, 17, said he can only practice wakeboarding on the weekends because of school. He studies finance at a university in Dubai and planned to return on a 20-hour flight home the same night of the tournament. “I have a lot of homework to do,” he said.
The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department partnered with Aktion Parks, which owns and operates the Miami and Orlando water sports complexes, to bring the boat and cable park to South Florida.