by Mira Reverente
There is a new sports attraction in town. Housed in a 96,000-square-foot industrial building once inhabited by biotech giant Amgen, Sports Academy is Newbury Park’s comprehensive campus for athletes of all ages and abilities.
Situated along Rancho Conejo Boulevard, everything about the training facility is massive, from the two Olympic-sized beach volleyball courts to the 5,000-square-foot turf field for football, lacrosse, baseball and soccer.
The multi-disciplinary approach is equally as impressive. “We are targeting the mind, body and spirit of athletes,” said Jason Nyhan, director of corporate development. “It’s a holistic approach. When they walk in, we ask them what they’re trying to get better at.”
Staffed by athletes, for athletes
Co-founded by a group of former top level athletes, including CEO Chad Faulkner and director of athletics Tim Jensen, Sports Academy is slated to open soon. Faulkner, a Kansas State football player, and Jensen, a junior and collegiate volleyball player; both men understand the rigors of playing sports while in school.
While the training facility’s core market is young people, the programs have are primarily focused on middle school and high school athletes. “It may be a 14-year-old on the JV team who wants to make varsity or the high school senior who wants to play for the NBA,” said Faulkner.
The other programs are staffed by world class coaches, trainers and practitioners. Speed and agility guru, Nate Borunda, heads the Sports Performance Center, which has a 60-yard turf track equipped with electronic precision timing. In the 30-meter Mondo track, there are hurdles and blocks as well for track athletes. Jenny Kenyon, director of track and endurance sports, is a former track star at Newbury Park High School who went to the University of Oregon on a track scholarship. There is something for everyone at this family-oriented sports facility.
Many successful and high-performing athletes get to that top level with the help of support systems, primarily their families. Parents can look forward to less drop-offs and rush-hour driving with the other offerings at Sports Academy.
There’s the Learning Center, where athletes and their siblings can get tutoring help or enrichment classes like robotics, and even guidance through the college app process. There’s the Courtyard Cafe for easy take-outs or casual dining. A grab-and-go area will also offer snacks and smoothies.
Parents can also work out, get a massage or browse the retail store while the kids are receiving top-notch coaching at affordable rates. “We’re not membership-based. Everything will basically be a la carte,” said Nyhan of their pricing model.
As the community awaits Sports Academy’s grand opening, parents of athletes are just as excited. “This will be a great resource for families looking to advance the physical and mental health of their athletes, helping them progress to the next level of competitiveness,” said John Merrill, president of the Newbury Park Track Club and father of four young athletes. “Our community has a tremendous appetite for sports. Whatever we lack as parents, and where most local sports programs are deficient, I hope they will find it there so they can reach their maximum potential as athletes.”
For more information, visit sportsacademy.us.