Benchwarmers Sports Complex helps athletes stay off the bench with a wide range of training facilities. Four pitching tunnels transform string bean arms into powerful cannons, while two automated batting cages and three live arm cages allow hurled baseballs to hone swings, instead of inflated puffer fish, which will just hone your fear of seafood restaurants. Elsewhere, its basketball court boasts adjustable rims and a gigantic electronic scoreboard, and its indoor turf fields feature granular rubber infill to support players as they work up a sweat during games of baseball, football, soccer, and lacrosse.
The Charlotte Eagles are a professional men's soccer team who compete in the second division of the United Soccer Leagues. This year's roster is packed with serious soccer muffins, such as midfielder and fruit elitist Joe DeLass and Uruguayan forward Gustavo Bentos. The players will only be able to display fancy footwork for four more home games. Check out the schedule and plan to attend a game when the sun will be close enough to earth to tan your body home-team orange.
United Social Sports expands its members' social circles through a slate of several sports and spirited, casual competition. Return to childhood bliss by joining kickball, throw bags at a board with cornhole, or whack around orbs in bocce. Leagues include a championship tournament, end-of-season party, and other goodies.
During the summer, visitors to certain North Carolina parks might see a bunch of athletic Europeans urging kids through drills. They shouldn't worry—this isn't some covert invasion. It's just the Barcelona Soccer Camp. Organized by ISL Futbol and UE Cornella of Barcelona, and partnered with FC Barcelona and Blackburn Rovers FC, this four-day program serves the dual purpose of building kids' confidence and soccer skills and preparing them for potential recruitment; assistant coaches scout each camp to find the ideal candidates for training and eventual placement in professional football clubs around North America and Europe.
Even more importantly, though, the program is designed to help kids have fun. UEFA Pro–licensed Spanish coaches—holders of the highest soccer-coaching level in the world—join forces with NCAA coaches and players. With one coach for every 12 campers, the six-hour days are filled with lessons in soccer theory and dynamic, hands-on training. Programs follow elite Spanish training methodology and are broken up into skill-specific workshops on dribbling, controlling and passing, possession games, and perhaps most importantly, real scrimmages with a team.
A new zombie horde rises, hungry for the packs of humans that flee in a desperate fight to see another day. This isn't a vision of a postapocalyptic future—it happens every fall at the Zombie Run Challenge, an event in which participants dressed as zombies chase down human competitors in a race for both survival and top prizes. After registering, competitors separate into the two factions, each with separate goals. In the course of up to two hours, zombies attempt to turn humans by capturing the flags attached to their belts. The living, in turn, try to complete challenges at four–five checkpoints, taking momentary refuge or healing at outposts scattered throughout the woods. All the while, a group of volunteer mercenaries armed with foam darts hunts down the undead attackers. Before the race begins, the special-effects gurus at Gregory F/X will provide zombie makeup to participants in exchange for a donation—100% of which goes to charity and won't be used to buy the zombies fresh brains at the local deli.
Sports & Fitness's seven locations facilitate calorie-burning activities with free weights, cardio equipment, and group fitness classes, while pampering clients with relaxation-inducing amenities. Members perspire and tone bodies while meeting the demands of a certified personal trainer in one-on-one training sessions, or while pedaling next to fellow fit-seekers during group cycling classes. The group fitness classes also include yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and Zumba, varying by location and the whims of Cratus, the god of strength.
As parents scorch calories with weight- and circuit-training equipment, they can rest assured that their youngsters are in responsible hands in the child watch area; a playfully decorated room filled with toys and 5 pound rattles.