Playing For Keeps
Coach Byron Knox with some little gymnasts
Chelsea Piers is barely a year old and it’s already expanding. Beginning this fall, CPCT will begin offering memberships to a 60,000-square-foot state-of-the art athletic health club that, if all construction goes as planned, will open its doors in late spring. Also this month, the sporting facility will launch its Little Athletes Academy. Expanding on its summer camps concept for the preschool set, the little ones can now work on skills in gymnastics, rock climbing, ice-skating, soccer, T-ball, lacrosse and basketball throughout the year.
Little Athletes will be trained by CPCT’s renowned professional coaches who, by the way, have been quite busy since doors opened in 2012. Squash director Natalie Grainger held her number-one rank as U.S.A.’s top squash player, and went on to win U.S. Nationals and the World Doubles titles. Triathlon coach Caitlin Drap was named All-American (honorable mention), and competed in the US Triathlon Nationals. Gymnastics coach Byron Knox held his NCAA and USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year titles.
The teams the coaches led also have something to brag about, among them the CP Aquatics Club, which finished fourth overall (out of forty teams) at the 2013 Connecticut Age Group Championship meet at Wesleyan University. On top of a number of personal bests, the 11-12 Girls 200 Medley relay team set a new state record. Under the direction of Olympic gold medalist Gigi Fernandez, CPCT Junior Team Tennis teams were champions inage groups 8, 10 and 12 (advanced), and 12 and 18 (intermediate).
“We’re proud of our accomplished staff and our many competitive teams, but we also believe strongly in producing athletic opportunities for our littlest athletes, our adult league members and the guests [who visit our facility],” says executive director Mollie Marcoux.
CPCT President David Tewksbury says the organization has received “a tremendous response, and we hope to build further on a strong first year and become the fabric of people’s lives.”