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Gym Is a Dream Come True

Hoop Magic Sports Academy offers much-needed space for basketball, volleyball, badminton, martial arts, cheerleading and dodgeball.

For years Pat Symonds' husband dreamed of opening a large gym with lots of basketball courts. When he coached Amateur Athletics Union basketball in the past, he frequently struggled with a shortage of high school basketball courts, Symonds said.

NOW HIS dream has come true and Symonds and her husband have opened the Hoop Magic Sports Academy in Chantilly.

The 65,500-square-foot facility, a stone's throw from both Loudoun County and Washington Dulles International Airport, opened in early May. It has courts for basketball, volleyball, badminton, martial arts, cheerleading and dodgeball. It even provides the balls, Symonds said.

A high school basketball league will play there this summer, and next fall the Chantilly Youth Association will have a basketball league play there.

Hoop Magic is also attempting to organize leagues in the other sports, sometimes for youth as well as adults. The facility provides individual and group training in basketball, volleyball and martial arts, Symonds said.

Currently the martial arts being taught is a combination of American Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan. It is also developing aerobic/dance classes, Symonds said. Hoop Magic holds tournaments and rents its rooms for special events like birthday parties.

It "just gives people options," Symonds said.

THERE ARE seven basketball courts, six of them high-school size and one of them college-sized. The basketball courts have Grade 2 and Grade 3 wood floors, Symonds said. Courts are graded 1 through 4, with Grade 1 being the best. Most recreation facilities are Grade 4, Symonds said. "True players know," she said.

"The floors are good," said Phil Hubbard, assistant coach of The Washington Wizards professional basketball team and a patron of the facility. "It's a very nice facility." Hubbard practices basketball with his 16-year-old son at the facility.

Additionally, Hoop Magic has a quarter-mile track, bleachers, a cafeteria, pro shop, fitness equipment, locker rooms, educational room and conference room.

The fitness equipment includes Stair Masters, treadmills, stationary bikes and weight machines.

The educational room will soon include computers, and tutoring can be done in this room, Symonds said.

Neither Symonds nor the Fairfax County Department of Community and Recreation Services feel they are in sharp competition with each other.

"That facility doesn't really compete with us," said Patricia McClenic, public information officer for the department. The community is short on basketball facilities, she said. "We can always use more."

The facility is available at daily, weekly and monthly rates. Group and corporate rates are also available.

The Fairfax County Recreation department is using the facility for its Summer of Service and Fun for county children. The children will do a variety of activities there from June 26 to Aug. 11, McClenic said.

So far, business is "great," Symonds said. "It's steadily going up hill."

Symonds said she and her husband planned to open other similar facilities in the future.

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