The Bethesda Big Train baseball team came to fruition through the passion and charitable work of the Bethesda Community Baseball Club. Upon seeing that the area's softball and baseball fields were in disarray, this group quickly took to the task of improving them for the community's youth. After raising the money to fix the parks, the organization erected Shirley Povich Field to give the Bethesda Big Train a place to call home. A summer collegiate baseball team, the Big Train delights fans with the sounds of summer: the crack of the bat, the smack of a fastball hitting the catcher's mitt, and the buzz of a cell phone politely vibrating. The team members also aspire to be role models for the region's younger generation, showing them that they can play baseball at a high level while still putting college, their studies, and their right to wear sweatpants to class first. Today the club participates in the Cal Ripken League and has won the league's championship three seasons in a row, giving locals and fans plenty to cheer about while enjoying family fun out under the summer's warm evening sky.
The Washington Kastles are the 2009 champions of the World Team Tennis league, a 35-year-old tennis association co-founded by Billie Jean King that pits 10 co-ed teams in head-to-head action against one another as they compete for the King Trophy and a chance to face Borlock, the many-tentacled galactic tennis champion from the Ursa Wimbledon nebula. During the July 12 match, watch the Kastles take on the New York Buzz, including former number-one-ranked player Martina Hingis. You'll also receive a free Kastles T-shirt (a $15 value), and have the chance to ask Kastles coach Murphy Jensen to sign your lock of Andre Agassi's hair during a Groupon-exclusive meet-and-greet (a $25 value). With the second option, get the free T-shirt plus a seat during the July 18 match against the Boston Lobsters. Although the Washington Kastles' roster boasts both Williams sisters, neither will be playing at these matches.
Since 1973, skaters have been sailing effortlessly across Fairfax Ice Arena’s spacious, icy surface during public skate sessions, figure skating–lessons, and hockey leagues for all ages. At the family-owned arena, a staff of dedicated skating coaches guides students while calling upon experience from the St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice, Disney on Ice, and the lesser-known On Golden Pond on Ice. The arena is open throughout the year, hosting a full hockey and figure skating–pro shop in addition to its Arena Café.
The 88?x184? Mateflex court inside Benfield Sportscenter is a shape-shifter. One day, it might be a full-size soccer field ready for child or adult leagues. The next, it could be a baseball, field hockey, or lacrosse field. Or maybe it'll be split into several different volleyball and basketball courts, with one corner cordoned off for competitive I-spy tournaments. Whatever the sport, Benfield's staff can set up the indoor arena to meet the athletes' needs. Away from the arena, Benfield Sportscenter encompasses a 1,400-square-foot training area with exercise equipment, as well as a lobby with WiFi and a snack bar.
In addition to open sessions and leagues, the staff teaches a carefully designed child-development program for ages 3 to 5. The curriculum starts with a multi-sport class, then moves on to a tri-sport class, before finally placing kids in single-sport sessions. This encourages children to find their ideal sport, whether it's basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, or lacrosse.
Strength and conditioning coach Blair O'Donovan's decade of experience and work with high-level talents has yielded an array of inventive training tactics that help youth basketball players develop the same tools the pros use, including strength, agility, and speed.