After suffering a career-ending injury playing college football, Graham Kelley stepped off the field for a while and spent several years working in software sales.
Last year, he decided to return to sports — this time turning his attention to helping young athletes and former athletes like him working desk jobs.
At Capital City Sports Academy, his new gym just over the Arlington County border in Bailey’s Crossroads, Kelley is helping young athletes train safely and encouraging adults to get back into shape. The 4,500-square-foot facility at 3431 Carlin Springs Road had its grand opening on Saturday after a soft opening for a handful of new members last month.
“[The gym] is designed for young athletes in two focuses: speed and agility to develop athleticism, and strength and conditioning to develop core stability and muscle mass necessary for younger athletes as they grow,” he said.
Kelley said his location, close to several high schools in Arlington and Fairfax counties, as well as Alexandria, will benefit a large number of athletes who are requiring more intense, specialized training at younger ages.
“I wish I had a facility like Capital City when I was in high school,” Kelley said. “Thinking back to when I was 10, 11 years old and developing my athleticism, a place like Capital City to learn the fundamentals would have been instrumental in my development. I think the opportunity could have helped me avoid the injury I incurred.”
Training will be overseen by Head Coach and General Manager Chad Ward, who Kelley described as “the most positive person I’ve ever met.”
“Our athletes have responded well, parents are extremely happy with him. It’s been really exciting to see,” he said. “We want to build something special and help local kids shine.”
The facility also offers boot camp-style and circuit-based classes to help former athletes get active again.
“Getting the adult to move again like they’re the athlete they were in the past has shown tons of positive health benefits to counteract the sedentary lifestyle of sitting at a computer for eight hours a day and staring at our phones,” said Kelley.
These classes are open to adults who have never played a sport as well.
“We don’t discriminate,” said Kelley.
The gym offers team training packages for high schools or organizations and also has monthly membership options. Kelley said costs vary by sport and school, so those interested in getting an estimate can email Capital City through its website.
It will be open Monday and Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Photos courtesy of Park and Langley Photography
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