Chelsea Piers Connecticut celebrates one year anniversary

Greenwich resident and director of the Chelsea Piers Connecticut Squash Club Natalie Grainger takes to the court with Stamford mayor Michael Pavia.

Greenwich resident and director of the Chelsea Piers Connecticut Squash Club Natalie Grainger takes to the court with Stamford mayor Michael Pavia.

From its inception, Chelsea Piers Connecticut has aspired to be the best amateur sports and entertainment complex in the world, complete with state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge programming, first-rate instruction and a courteous, professional staff.

Since opening a year ago, Chelsea Piers Connecticut continues to exceed expectations. Last summer’s successful opening began with a multi-sport summer camp program that immediately became home to hundreds of campers each week in more than 10 sports.

Chelsea Piers Connecticut has provided an economic boost to the East Side of Stamford, bringing more than 300 jobs to the city. Formerly a manufacturing plant for Clairol, Chelsea Piers has transformed the building from an empty warehouse to a sports mecca.

The resourceful design of the complex, as well as the sustainable reuse of preexisting structure and materials, has been widely recognized and honored as innovative and eco-friendly. The design and construction of the facility has won numerous awards including the American Institute of Steel Construction’s Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering and the National Council of Structural Engineers Association’s Award.

The quality of the facility is surpassed only by the quality of the instructors and programming. World-class coaches and directors, including17 time Grand Slam title winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist Gigi Fernandez, provide Chelsea Piers Connecticut customers an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top athletes. CPCT’s outstanding staff, comprised of Olympians, NCAA All-Americans, professional athletes and decorated coaches, continues to be nationally recognized and honored for their athletic achievements.

Since opening, Squash Director Natalie Grainger won both the U.S. Nationals and the World Doubles titles and is currently ranked as the top-ranked female player in the country and the No. 1 ranked player in the world in doubles.

Triathlon coach Caitlin Drap was named All-American, Honorable Mention, competed in the U.S. Triathlon Nationals and placed as the first overall female finisher in the Darien Triathlon. Gymnastics coach Byron Knox was NCAA and USA Gymnastics Coach of the year for the past two years. These are just a sampling of the many accomplishments of the talented Chelsea Piers coaching staff.

The facility’s unmatched size and inspiring design has led numerous leagues and sports programs to partner with Chelsea Piers Connecticut and choose the complex as their home training center. Notable programs include the Greenwich Academy Ice Hockey program, CT/Mid-Fairfield Yankees ice hockey program, the Skyliners Synchronized Skating team, Greenwich Water Polo, HTC & 4Goals Field Hockey, CFC Soccer, Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy, Stanwich School, Greenwich Education Group, BlueStreak Sports Training and Flywheel Sports.

With 12 courts, the Squash Club at Chelsea Piers Connecticut is one of the country’s premier squash facilities. In the past year, the Squash Club served as host to numerous U.S. Squash sanctioned tournaments, including the US Masters and National Squash Championships in March, the US National Open, the Connecticut Junior State Championships, and the Bronze Junior Nationals in April, and will host the Summer Silver Tournament later this month.

The first season of tennis at Chelsea Piers Connecticut was a huge success for adults and juniors alike. There were 12 USTA Adult Teams that played out of CPCT this past year, with the facility hosting more than 100 USTA sanctioned matches.

On the junior side, CPCT Junior Team Tennis teams were champions in the eight-, 10- and 12’s-Advanced, as well as the 12- and 18-Intermediate age divisions. CPCT also had finalists in the 14-Advanced and 18-Advanced and the 8-and-Under, while the 12-U  teams went undefeated for the season.

The learn-to-swim and entry level aquatics programs continue to be among the most popular programs at Chelsea Piers with children as young as four-months-old taking to the warm water lesson pool and Olympic pool to hone their swimming skills. The Chelsea Piers Aquatic Club team consistently finished strongly in meets, including an impressive showing at the 2013 Connecticut Age Group Championship meet held at Wesleyan University, where they finished 4th out of 40 teams overall. In addition to numerous personal bests, the 11-12 Girls 200 Medley Relay Team set a new State Record.

The Chelsea Piers Connecticut inaugural ice hockey season was extremely successful. In addition to hosting the Chinese National team for three exhibition games, CPCT hosted numerous hockey showcases and tournaments in its first year. The Mite Development Program and the Dual-County Mite Development League provided hundreds players from Fairfield and Westchester counties with playing time and the adult hockey league featured over 80 different teams throughout four seasons.

The Chelsea Piers Lacrosse Club (CP-Lax) also had a great first season. Several players have already committed to continue their lacrosse careers with some of the nation’s top college lacrosse programs such as Duke University, Loyola University, Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, West Point, Holy Cross, Michigan and Hofstra.

In addition to the recently formed partnership with Connecticut Football Club, soccer at Chelsea Piers includes programs for players of all ages and abilities. In its first year, CPCT fielded 44 youth league teams and a year-round adult leagues program including co-ed, men’s and corporate leagues.

The volleyball program at Chelsea Piers Connecticut boasts clinics for youths ages five- to 18-years-old, including Connecticut’s only clinic for five- to nine-years-old. The program created a successful Junior Olympic girls travel team that has placed first or second in all regional tournaments it has competed in.

Toddler, preschool and recreational gymnastics continued to thrive with boys and girls regularly filling the classes. The Chelsea Piers Connecticut Girls Gymnastics Team had a successful first year both as a team and as individuals. The season consisted of several meets and was highlighted by a third-place finish for the Level 4 team and a fourth-place finish for the Level 5 team at the Connecticut State meet. Two CPCT gymnasts had individual wins in the All-Around competition in their respective divisions. CPCT will be fielding a boy’s Gymnastics Team in the fall.

“We are very proud and honored that in one short year so many families and individuals have made Chelsea Piers Connecticut a major part of their active lifestyle,” said Mollie Marcoux, Executive Director, Chelsea Piers Connecticut. “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 to our adult league members to the guests who attend everything from a birthday party to a corporate team building event. We’re very grateful for all of the community support we’ve received and look forward to continuing to grow and expand upon our dynamic programming.”

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