With more than 50 sports and events, including 14 Olympic sports, the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival presents fitness and fun for all ages March 5-8, 2015. The festival has expanded into the world’s largest multi-sport fitness weekend since its 1989 debut.  Over 18,000 athletes will compete at Greater Columbus Convention Center, Ohio Expo Center, Hilton Columbus Downtown, LC Pavilion, Hollywood Casino, Nationwide Arena, New Albany High School and Stars Indoor Sports. See ArnoldSportsFestival.com for all times and locations.

  1. It’s not just for buff beach bods anymore. The Arnold Kids Fitness EXPO debuts at the Ohio Expo Center in the Bricker Building on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, and will feature demonstrations and clinics in archery, ballroom dance, baseball, chess, Crossfit Endeavor, disc golf, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, hula hoop, Irish dance, jump rope, juggling, karate, lacrosse, pickleball, power and speed training, rowing, Scottish dance and bagpipes, soccer, table tennis, talent show, tennis, unicycle and zip line. Members of the Blue Jackets and Crew will be on hand, and Arnold himself, a chess buff, takes on 8-year-old Emma Chang, a local prodigy from Dublin, at 3 pm Saturday.

  1. High school teacher and powerlifting powerhouse John C. Downing (see story), also an Ohio State alum and current coach of the OSU powerlifting club level team, goes for a world record on Friday, March 6 at 2 pm, at the Columbus Convention Center ballroom 150.

  1. The aerial acrobats and strength of Pole Fitness is exploding internationally. Pole Fitness is one of the world’s fastest growing sports as fitness studios and gyms are opening worldwide. The first-place female professional winners of the 12 best pole competitions across North America will go head-to-head in the largest event to date. The Pole Fitness National Championship at the Arnold is Friday, March 6 at 9:30 pm, at the Columbus Convention Center in the Battelle Grand ballroom.

  1. A growing outdoor sport great for small groups (ie, like the family!) is Disc Golf, with the 18-hole course set up on the property of the Ohio History Center at the fairgrounds. The first annual Arnold Disc Open will take place on Saturday, March 7 and amateurs can play Sunday, March 8. Clinics will be offered during both days. Event director Paul Jay says the sport is well-suited for beginners and novices, affordable for all, as many courses are free to the public, and played in most weather conditions.

  1. Playing table tennis in the basement has always been a favorite past-time of hipsters, but just imagine 50 table tennis tables hosting 35 events for all ages and levels of skill! The 12th Annual Arnold Table Tennis Challenge kicks off noon on Friday, March 6 and goes through Sunday, March 8, at a new location in the Voinovich Building at the Expo Center. Doors open at 8 am on the weekend. There will be open tables, but for the most part, tournaments dominate, as 18 divisions will paddle it out for trophies, medals and moola.