Things To Do This Summer: 4 Classic Sports
For lifelong enjoyment consider golf, equestrian, tennis, and sailing
Extreme sports have their place. It’s exciting to watch Olympian Kelly Clark execute tricks above a frosty half-pipe, or marvel at Laird Hamilton’s humongous wave-challenging surfing, but chances are you won’t be pulling those tricks when you’re 65.
This issue, we’ve headed back to basics, featuring four classic sports that will pay dividends for a lifetime, no matter the skill level to which the participant may rise: horseback riding, golf, sailing and tennis. We’re also highlighting select local venues and instructional resources around the region to help you get started.
In addition to the obvious physical and mental health benefits for participants of all ages, children who take up these traditional recreations also develop an appreciation for each sport’s required conventions of costume, etiquette and terminology. In the case of riding and sailing, youth are trained to utilize and care for very specialized gear; they must concentrate on unique safety issues and become responsible for the physical wellbeing and maintenance of the horse. These settings require complete focus and are definitely ‘no texting’ zones.
Featured Venue: East Coast Equestrian Training Center, Virginia Beach
This large equine facility is located in the scenic Pungo borough of Virginia Beach and includes one of the largest attached indoor riding areas in the region. Susan Golesh and her dedicated trainers accept students of all levels: younger students just beginning their athletic careers, returning students who wish to get their skills back up to speed, and new adult riders who are fulfilling a long-held dream. Bucket lists are definitely welcome here. Multiple services are available, and the facilities host a range of educational and competitive events:
• Riding Lessons
• Horse Training
• Equestrian Events
• Horse Shows
• Horse Camps
• Equestrian Teams and Clubs
• Largest attached indoor arena in SE Virginia (130’x 270’)
• 2 exterior show rings
• Mirrored dressage ring
• Almost 100 acres of land with trails
The training center is proud to be a part of the equestrian competitions for middle and secondary school students (public and private) across the country. Best of all, you do not need to own your own horse to be a part of their riding team. Students from grades 6–12 are eligible to compete. For a relaxing treat, guided rides along adjacent trails may be booked in advance.
Contact: Director Sharon Golesh
Featured Venues: The First Tee of Hampton Roads Youth Program, Virginia Beach; and Kiln Creek Golf Course & Resort, Newport News
The First Tee of Hampton Roads is celebrating its 15th anniversary. This youth-focused program is an active chapter of the YMCA National Organization of The First Tee. The 55-acre Virginia Beach facility includes a nine-hole walking course, driving range, putting green, short-game practice area and Learning Center/Clubhouse. The First Tee has established Nine Core Values representing positive ideals inherent in the game of golf, and instructors reinforce these values throughout the learning experience. Summer Fun at the Tee begins in June. Students learn golf and valuable life skills, participate in creative games, and have the opportunity to make new friends.
The organization’s goal is to provide accessible and affordable golf experiences for every child and family who desires to participate in The First Tee of Hampton Roads YMCA programs. Financial assistance is offered on the basis of eligibility and availability.
Contact: The First Tee Hampton Roads
Kiln Creek Golf Club and Resort: ‘Get Golf Ready’ at this premier golf destination. Geared toward adults, this PGA program introduces the game of golf to new players and gets returning players back in the groove. Taught by PGA and LPGA professionals in a group setting, this affordable series of five lessons will teach you everything you’ll need to play golf by combining fun, friends and fitness.
Each session focuses on the basic golf skills you’ll use while playing. In addition to learning the basics, you’ll put your skills into action on the course in a casual, friendly setting. No equipment needed!
Contact: The Pro Shop at Kiln Creek
• Instructor search: www.pga.com/golf-instruction/instructors/va
• Additional ‘Get Golf Ready’ destinations: http://www.pga.com/play-golf-america/get-golf-ready
Featured ASA Certified Venues: SailTime, Norfolk/Virginia Beach; and Stingray Point Sailing School, Deltaville
Simply learn to sail, or have all the benefits of boat access without the headaches by becoming a member, or owner-member. No prior sailing experience required. Even the youngest members of the instruction/sailing staff have a depth of knowledge that is enviable by any standard. Instructors are patient and encouraging, and their enthusiasm is catching. Instruction taking place at Willoughby Marina is augmented by hands-on learning aboard a rotating fleet of gleaming boats that sail from Bay Point Marina.
SailTime has sailing courses and private instruction designed to meet multiple needs. Learn to sail aboard your own vessel, study coastal navigation, experience coastal cruising, or take your docking and sail trimming skills to the next level.
Just curious, and would like to find out if sailing is for you? Book an affordable, two- or four-hour Discover Sail cruise. If you’re looking for boat ownership, or for access to professionally maintained vessels, you’re invited to explore surprisingly affordable and flexible options via SailTime’s Owner/Member programs. Lessons are primarily geared toward adults, but younger students who display ability to concentrate, and a desire to learn are welcome.
Contact: SailTime Norfolk/Virginia Beach
Stingray Point Sailing School
Passionate sailors Bill and Cheryl Simpson have more than 35 years of sailing experience. They invite you to make sailing your next great adventure. Located in the heart of the Bay at the Deltaville Yacht Center complex, this Middle Peninsula destination at Stingray Point is a boating paradise. Deltaville’s historic maritime traditions make it the ‘Boatbuilding Capital of the Chesapeake Bay,’ and it is the place that Bill and Cheryl selected to house their ASA-certified school.
The instruction is primarily focused on adults, and they provide Basic and Advanced options—from a two-hour introduction to sail to basic coastal cruising, bareboat chartering, challenge certification and basic keelboat sailing. They will also conduct private instruction on your own boat.
“Sailing really is a lifestyle. There is such joy and freedom when you’re out on the water in such a rewarding environment. Sailing can provide people with a lifetime of adventure, even in local waters. The Bay is full of quiet, secluded areas that seem a world away. You can see the grins on the faces of our students as they put what they’ve learned into practice out on the water.” —Cheryl Simpson
Contact: Capt. Bill Simpson
Additional local resources for youth and adults:
• Norfolk – sailnauticus.org/kids-programs/summer-camp 757-823-4242
• Hampton Roads/Old Dominion University – www.bigbluesailingacademy.com
• Irvington/Williamsburg – www.premiersailing.com
Featured Venue: Newport News Huntington Park Tennis
Affiliated with the Newport News Department of Parks and Recreation, the Huntington Park Tennis Center has 20 lighted courts, racquet stringing, ball machine and backboard. Harvey Robinson is the on-site tennis professional. Harvey and his trained staff conduct a range of classes and clinics for all ages, including the popular Quick Start Tennis Classes for youth.
“Quick Start Tennis is a tennis instructional program designed for children 10 and under. The tennis equipment and playing surfaces are scaled down to help kids have fun while developing tennis skills. The racquets, balls and court fit the age of the child. It is a fun way for kids to learn the game without becoming frustrated by having to play on an adult size court with an adult size racquet. It is a great way to build confidence, develop hand/eye coordination and make friends.”
—Newport News Dept. of Parks and Recreation
Contact: Pro Harvey Robinson
Play Your Court: Mobile Tennis Professionals – Have the Pro come to you!