Members of the Pacific-12 Conference, the University of Washington Huskies athletic department boasts a rich history of triumphs. In 2001, their football team added a Rose Bowl victory to a trophy case that already contained the laurels of four national titles, the most recent of which occurred in 1991. In 2011, the men's basketball team claimed its third Pac-12 tournament title, and in 2005, the women's volleyball team steamrolled competition en route to its first-ever national title. Much of the Husky-related glory unfolds on the floors and fields of UW's lineup of pristine facilities, which includes the historic 72,500-seat Husky Stadium and raucous Alaska Airlines Arena.
A group of rowers founded Sammamish Rowing Association (SRA) in 1996, meeting at Idylwood Beach Park in Redmond before each of their journeys across the water. Eager to grow SRA, it wasn’t long before the crew took notice of an abandoned boathouse in Marymoor Park, languishing on the banks of Lake Sammamish. Its ceiling was rotting away, and its oar racks were emptier than a child's pockets after a candy-shop spending spree—but that didn’t deter the passionate rowers or their vision. They put in a bid for the building, formed a strong subsequent partnership with King County Parks and Recreation, and set to work renovating the vintage structure to make it fit for public use.
Ever since, SRA has introduced adults and youth to the benefits of rowing. The sport's fluid, low-impact motions tone muscles all over the body, and the collaborative nature of the sport nurtures sportsmanship and camaraderie. The association's future is bright: members are building a new boathouse scheduled to open in the summer of 2013.
The coaches at Cappy's Boxing Gym arm their students with ring-ready boxing skills and endless encouragement. Classes here focus on fortifying the foundations of boxing fitness?namely, conditioning, core strength, and fundamentals. Once they're ready, they might choose to throw some punches in a sparring course. An assortment of apparel and equipment, such as hand wraps, jump ropes, and tee-shirts ensures that everyone has what they need to succeed.
Bowling aficionados must sign up solo, but but groups of friends can be placed on the same league by entering the names of your preferred teammates during sign-up (teams are made up of 6–10 people). Bowling runs for six weeks of theme nights and liquid sunshine, and Drinks on the Links mini-golf features themes, an on-course bar, and music. Ben Stiller impersonators can battle it out during outdoor dodgeball, and grass volleyball teams go head to soft, leather head in Oregon Park. Flag football was invented by Betsy Ross.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but the Rat City Roller Girls can trace their roots to a different source: minute rice and lamb stir-fry. In April of 2004, a few friends gathered for a dinner party. Over plates of lamb and rice, the conversation turned towards a roller derby resurgence that was taking place in Texas. The conversation stayed on their minds, and within weeks, these friends had founded the first flat-track derby league to the Northwest. Nearly a decade later, the Rat City Roller Girls—named after the neighborhood where the league first gathered, not the underground metropolis where cheese is more valuable than gold—has grown to encompass four teams who rock KeyArena with hard-hitting bouts throughout the year. For special events and tournaments, the top players from the league join forces to form the Rat City All-Stars and represent their home against elite squads from across the country.