Luke Boden: A Tour of Kissimmee Sports Venues

Tag along as soccer coach Luke Boden visits key Kissimmee sports venues.

Luke Boden and Jen Bonner hold soccer balls on the footgolf course in front of Reunion Resort

Jen and Luke gear up for a round of footgolf at Reunion Resort.

For sports fans, locals or visitors, there’s always plenty to experience in Kissimmee and Central Florida. In addition to the various spectator sports and professional leagues, guests can watch or participate at a number of venues, including Wild World of Sports and Osceola Heritage Park. Luke also put a twist on the traditional use of the soccer ball on the footgolf field at Reunion resort. Check out his story in the fourth episode of The Kissimmee Experience

Luke Boden

Born in Sheffield, England, Luke Boden began his career playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 2006 before relocating to Central Florida around 2011. He signed a two-year contract with Orlando City Soccer Club when they were a part of the USL Pro league, and by 2015 was playing for Orlando City in the MLS league. After an incredible run with Orlando City (and being quite the fan favorite), Luke signed to the Tampa Bay Rowdies and played for a bit longer before retiring to join the coaching staff of the Rollins Tars at Rollins College.

ESPN Wide World of Sports 

Located in the Walt Disney World Resort, ESPN Wide World of Sports can host numerous professional and amateur sporting events throughout the year in their ten world-class venues. Luke met show host Jen Bonner to show her around the complex and reminisce on his time playing Orlando City SC home games at that location.  

In addition to hosting Orlando City during the 2014 season, the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex is also home to IdeaSport Soccer Academy, one of America’s foremost soccer academies providing world-class training for all ages of youth players. 

Osceola Heritage Park 

After a quick lunch, Luke and Jen drove down to the other end of route 192 to check out Osceola Heritage Park, a multi-venue complex that hosts sports as well as marquee events such as Mecum Auto Auctions every January—the largest collector car auction in the world, right in Kissimmee. 

Osceola Heritage Park is also home to the Orlando City preseason training. After an interview in the breezy stands, Luke took Jen out on the pitch to give her some quick pointers to prep for their next activity, footgolf. 

Footgolf at Reunion Resort 

When you think of Reunion Resort, you might think of their beautiful rooftop restaurant Eleven with sweeping views of the landscape, the renowned sushi bar in the lobby led by Chef Michael Ha, or even the three award-winning golf courses on property designed by top PGA legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson. You might not realize that sports enthusiasts, especially soccer fans, can participate in another unique activity at the resort called footgolf.  

Imagine a course as sprawling as one intended for golf, complete with tee-off points, par ratings, golf cart paths, and flag-marked holes. The holes, however, are large enough to accommodate a normal-sized soccer ball. The players kick the ball through the course with the goal of making the target under the recommended par number. Thus, footgolf!  

Although Kissimmee is typically known for its tourist attractions, I had no idea about many of the other fun activities there.

— Luke Boden

This was a new experience for both Luke and Jen, and with Luke’s pro career, he was able to coach Jen through the process of kicking the balls in the right direction. It’s a fast-growing sport in the U.S. with more than 30 courses in Florida alone, but still a unique and interesting activity for all skill levels. 

Sports in Kissimmee 

For more information on sporting events in and around Kissimmee, check out our Spectator Sports landing page. With warm weather year-round, Central Florida is also perfect for golf, with several golf courses to choose from as well as Golfzon Leadbetter Academy to book golf lessons.