Growing Professional Athletes at Home

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By Kim Howard, CAE

“The American Heritage College Dictionary, Third Edition” defines the word athlete as “a person possessing the natural or acquired traits necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts.” In our community, there is no shortage of leagues for almost all athletes at every age. Our schools offer a wide variety of fall, winter and spring sports for both male and female athletes. Local pools are filled every Saturday morning at o’dark thirty for eight weeks during summer swim season. You haven’t lived until you are eating a cheeseburger at 9 a.m. on a Saturday because you’ve been at the pool since 4:30 a.m. helping with setup for these athletes. Children who are interested and parents who are willing will find league sports available year-round for the child who wishes to hone his or her athletic skill to play at the next level. Did you know that Prince William was
the first home to many professional athletes? In our cover story, “Homegrown Pros: The Athletes That Prince William Helped to Create,” Liam Griffin and I profile a few pros who once called this area home.

Ah, the bargain hunter or huntress. You know who you are: the one who gets excited about a $10 two-piece suit from Jones New York or a bag full of tee-shirts for $5. If this is your idea of fun, our Destinations piece this month is for you. “The Utopian Shopping Experience” by Ashley Claire Simpson highlights local thrift stores. Whether you search for a bicycle, kitchen supplies, furniture or clothes, the story is one that you won’t want to miss.

This issue’s Lifelong Learning by Helena Tavares Kennedy profiles an organization working with the youth in our county. “The House Student Leadership Center—Working Together for Today’s Youth”
is about a 12-year-old collaborative effort described as “a student’s personal ultimate trainer.” If you have school-age children, this story is for you.

The Washington, D.C. area is home to six professional sports teams: hockey, football, tennis, soccer, baseball and basketball. Some of Prince William County’s children have the potential to play a professional sport one day. Watch them now. Take in a local junior high or high school game, swim meet or track meet. You will be surprised at the local, fresh talent we have living in our backyard. And, your financial and team support at these events matters, too.


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