This weekend marks the grand opening of the Elite Sports Training Center – with emphasis on the grand.
The facility, located next to XSport off Randall Road in St. Charles and inside the same building as Play It Again Sports, is kicking off its official opening with a focus on engaging the local community.
Today and Sunday, customers can have unlimited batting in the business’ automatic batting cages after paying a $5 fee. A portion of revenue will be donated to various youth baseball leagues, with each league receiving their share from a determined time slot. The leagues include Geneva baseball, Wasco baseball, Batavia baseball and Wasco fast pitch softball.
“The community is what will make us successful,” said Rob Nowak, among eight families that own the facility. “We wanted to make providing for the community a priority.”
Also receiving contributions is Cal’s All Star Angel Foundation, a South Elgin-based foundation with the goal of raising money for pediatric cancer.
Other festivities of the weekend include visits today from representatives at DeMarini, Rawlings and Wilson, who will be showcasing apparel in conjunction with Play It Again Sports. There will also be a pitch speed tent, which will benefit the Matthew Erickson Benefit Fund for medical costs of seven-month-old Matthew Erickson, who was born with a rare brain tumor.
The mayor of St. Charles, Don DeWitte, will cut the ceremonial ribbon to initiate the event, as well as appearances from Kane County Cougars players and Ozzie T. Cougar for pictures and autographs.
Nowak said the owners all had kids in the youth baseball community, and felt there was a void to be filled in player development.
The facility will have four automatic batting cages for baseball and softball, and space that can be utilized as an infield or divided into eight individual tunnels.
“Baseball, especially, is a game of practice, patience and coaching,” said Nowak, who has experience coaching in the Wasco Youth Baseball League.
Competition for the new facility will come from the Kane County Dugout on Tyler Road on the east side of St. Charles as well as Home Plate Batting and Pitching, located in the St. Charles Foundry Business Park.