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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sports leagues forming at the St. James

Sports teams and leagues are being developed for all age groups and ability levels at the huge St. James sports complex under construction on Industrial Road in Springfield.

The St. James, which touts itself as the premier sports center in the D.C. region, is planning a grand opening on Sept. 15. The center's salespeople are busy recruiting members. There are several categories of membership options.

Members of the public tour the St. James. When entering the building, the health club will be on the right and the restaurant will be on the left.
“Our mission is to create a best-in-class environment for athletes of all ages, interests, and abilities,” said General Manager Rob Kram at a meet-the-coaches event for prospective members July 18. “The St. James aspires to offer a five-star experience.”

Athletic Director Ken Tyler described the St. James’ sports venues: field house (for football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, futsol, and field hockey); ice house (ice hockey and skating); court house (basketball and volleyball); baseball hitting house; golf and racquet center (golf simulators, squash, racquetball), pool house (Olympic-size swimming and water park); and gymnastics center.

Lacrosse Director Melissa Coyne and Football Director Adham Talaat in the field house.
At the July 18 event, sports directors talked about how they are planning programs for children as young as 3 years old, youths interested in learning a sport or trying out for a high school team, adults at all skill levels, athletes considering a professional career, and older people who want to stay active. There will be sports camps during school breaks.

A schedule for sport programs is expected to be posted online in the next couple of weeks.

The future gymnastics center.
The facility will also have a health club with state-of-the-art equipment and space to host up to 150 classes a week; a restaurant and bar; a retail store called Striders with high-end sneakers and sports gear; a spa and rejuvenation center for facials and other services; and an active entertainment center with virtual reality gaming, e-sports gaming theater; climbing walls, and party rooms.

The 6,000-square foot water park will have slides, water sprayers, and three large dumping buckets.

The climbing wall.
Here is what the athletic directors are planning:

The first travel teams at the St. James will be for ice hockey, for players under age 10, U12, and U14,  said Hockey Director Tim Graham. There will also be house leagues for youths and adults and clinics for adults, youths, and children as young as age 4. The facility has a skating treadmill and a “shooting room” for skills development.

Another NHL-size ice rink will be used for figure skating classes, clinics, and free-style skating sessions, with top-quality rental skates, said Skating Director Cherie Farrington, a master-certified U.S. Figure Skating coach. There will be bleacher seating for 450 spectators.

The basketball/volleyball court.
Lisa Rankin, the gymnastics director, is planning tumbling and cheerleading, as well as gymnastics classes for boys and girls. There will be classes for 18-month-olds with parents, for students who want to try out for high school teams, and for adults.

Basketball director David Dickerson will offer “something for everybody,” including preschoolers, older children, rec leagues, classes for parents who want to learn about the game their kids are playing, professionals who need a place to practice, co-ed leagues, midnight leagues, and leagues for older adults.

One of the St. James' two ice rinks.
The St. James’ nine NCAA regulation volleyball courts will be used for skills clinics, travel leagues for ages 12 to 18, leagues for women and men, co-ed adult leagues, and corporate leagues, says volleyball director Kaitlynn Wickersham, the former coach at Mary Washington University.

Lacrosse programs will focus on skills development, because “athletes who are confident with the fundamentals will enjoy the game more,” says Lacrosse Director Melissa Coyne. There will be lessons for children starting at age 3, training for athletes who want to play on national leagues – and everything in between, such as group clinics, individual training, adult teams, and no-impact leagues.

The future restaurant.
The soccer director Doug Homer, is planning to teach parents about soccer so they understand their children’s needs, as well as organize teams and leagues for players of all ages and abilities.

Football Director Adham Talaat, a former an NFL free agent and a first-round draft pick for Major League Football, plans to focus on strength training and conditioning, skill building, classes on the intricacies of the game, and training for people who want to play on a college or professional team, as well as leagues for all ages.

Alister Walker, the squash director, who been ranked 12th in the world, wants to raise the profile of the sport in the U.S.  Water polo director Leslie Entwhistle, a seven time All-American in college and former program director of the Capital D.C. Water Polo Club, is planning classes for children age 5 and older. Directors for other sports will be hired soon.

A wide corridor with the field house on the left and the basketball court on the right.
Non-members can participate in sports programs, but members will get priority for registration and a 20 percent discount for clinics, teams, and classes. Membership includes the health club; pool; fitness classes; childcare; lockers; access to the ice rink, field house, and basketball for special member-only nights; and more. The restaurant, spa, water park, and entertainment center are open to the public.

So why is the complex called The St James? The developers and owners of the complex, Kendrick Ashton and Craig Dixon are Anglophiles, said Kram, who named the complex for the United Kingdom’s Court of St. James, which has been at the center of the world for 300 years and exemplifies trust and sustainability.

1 comment:

  1. Everything but indoor tennis courts.