From The Daniel Island News|
DI Sports: Train, compete, play, and eat!
By Jennifer Johnston
Jun 19, 2013 - 9:57:10 AM
|Matt Jones, Sports Director of DI Sports, huddles with his players during a recent basketball clinic.||
|The DI Sports-sponsored 4th-6th grade Falcons basketball champs are led by (L-R) Assistant Coach Mark Bowden, Assistant Coach Mike Dennis, and Head Coach Steve Meyers.
|Until the new DI Sports facility opens this fall, DI Sports clinic and camp participants run their drills at Cross Courts in Mount Pleasant.|
The Lowcountry generously lends itself to year-round outdoorsiness. But not every activity can be enjoyed under the Carolina sky. Sure, it’s nice to jump into a pick-up game of half-court basketball or sandpit volleyball at Etiwan Park, but it’s not a space conducive to a tournament. And martial arts may prepare you to defend yourself “on the street,” but most prefer to practice sparring on a mat than actually on the street. It’s also decidedly less fun to lift barbells in the rain, and everyone knows how a sidewalk chews up a jump rope. And, let’s face it, on certain days heat delirium and unstoppable sweating inject crankiness into any recreation.
So it sure would be nice to have a huge indoor sports complex outfitted with the latest athletic and training gear – not to mention air-conditioning and squeaky-clean locker rooms – within a few minutes drive. And while we’re making the wish list, some quality concessions would be super. Dare we ask for a full restaurant, tournament-friendly gym space, and a cool little venue for birthday parties?
The folks from DI Sports are gearing up to grant our wishes… and accept our dares. This fall, the new privately-owned recreation outfit will open the doors of its state-of-the-art facility on Clements Ferry Road, just a couple miles from Daniel Island.
DI Sports was a concept conceived by Daniel Island resident Jay Noce, whose desire to see the youth of the island and surrounding area have access to quality sports leagues and facilities just happened to match with his readiness to make a smart, substantial investment in the community. It would be months before settling on a location (to be explored in a future issue), but in that time he was able to assemble a top team to lead DI Sports.
Keith Elkins, a 30-year martial arts athlete and leadership trainer, was introduced to Noce when Elkins was conducting a corporate motivational speaking engagement. Noce was impressed with Elkins’ background, not only in athletics and management, but also as a creator of character development and behavior modification programs for at-risk youth in Washington, D.C. Noce saw a tremendous fit with the organization he was aiming to build, and tagged Elkins as President of DI Sports.
Of course, the outfit would need some solid credentials in the athletics department, and they found that in spades with basketball powerhouse Matt Jones, a star out of Appalachian State University who has continued to play extensively in the U.S. and overseas. (He also happened to be coached in his early years by his dad, NBA champ Bobby Jones.) In a stroke of great fortune, Jones signed on with DI Sports as Sports Director, where he will be in charge of running and coordinating all adult and youth camps, leagues, clinics, and training.
Rounding out the team is Events Director Lauren Carpenter. Described by Elkins as a “firecracker of energy,” Carpenter will perpetuate the image of DI Sports as the premier venue for a host of happenings, lining up everything from tournaments to corporate events to birthday parties. “Charleston is a beautiful area and we offer out-of-towners the chance to have a ‘sportcation’ - a sports vacation,” Carpenter relates. “Families will be able to enjoy the beach and the many family-friend attractions in the area while they are here to compete in a tournament. We are currently booking events as we speak, and have already had groups request dates for summer 2014 and beyond!”
When DI Sports opens the doors of its 50,000 square foot complex at 2509 Clements Ferry Road (an existing building that will be retrofitted for this use) in late October or early November 2013, the interior will offer six full basketball courts, group fitness space, volleyball, martial arts, and futsol. It will accommodate league play, personal training, and open gym for both youth and adults. But visitors may just find themselves lingering for other reasons.
“It’s a one-stop-shop,” reveals Elkins, referring to the facility’s amenities. With a food-court style concession area, independently-owned restaurant, and lounge-worthy lobby with wi-fi, parents can relax while their young athletes play, and adult members can take a meaningful breather between activities. “In our due diligence, we found that this is what other facilities were lacking,” Elkins explains.
Multi-leveled DI Sports memberships will be available to accommodate everyone from longtime athletes to weekend warriors. Those participating in leagues affiliated with DI Sports will have use of the new facility. Until the building is ready for play, however, the organization is hosting clinics, camps, and personal training out of Cross Courts gym in Mount Pleasant, near Cario Middle School in Park West.
In fact, Jones is hosting basketball clinics at Cross Courts every Tuesday and Thursday, and has just launched four weeklong summer camps. In addition, DI Sports is sponsoring an American Youth Basketball Association travel team, the U12 girls’ Lowcountry Falcons, who, incidentally, just completed an undefeated regular season of 13 games, nabbed the SC State Championship, and are headed with tremendous momentum to the National Tournament in Myrtle Beach at the end of this month. DI Sports founder Noce gives big props to the Falcon’s head coach, Steve Myers, thankful that his own daughter Gabi has been mentored under the 43-year athletics veteran.
DI Sports is beginning to interview its own athletics leaders for the new digs. “We will need plenty of qualified coaches and instructors, and would love to talk to potential coaches now,” states Jones. To be sure, they will be looking for people who share a desire to fill what the DI Sports team feels is a conspicuous void in unbridled indoor recreation, not only for the folks in and near Daniel Island, but for the entire tri-county region. “There are so many passionate people in Charleston,” Elkins asserts. “This area is very health-conscious, and we really want to focus on the community-at-large.”
Visit www.disports.com for more information on the planned facility and programs. To get in on camps, clinics, and personal training happening right now, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. And for information on booking events beginning this fall, email email@example.com.
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