When Liam Daly moved to Ashburn three and half years ago and began coaching his daughter’s soccer team, he quickly came to the realization that the area lacked a skills training facility to help young athletes develop.
In December, Liam and his wife Brandee opened Athletic Revolution Ashburn, which offers nine-week sessions in soccer, lacrosse and flag football for kids ages 18 months to 8 years old. Participants can play in one sport, or attend a multisport session at the indoor facility along Red Rum Drive.
“I said to myself, ‘I have to do something for the kids.’ I love kids,” Liam Daly explained. “We opened this to be a training center for kids to learn. I wanted to build a place for kids to come and have fun … to play games, have fun, be safe and be kids.”
In addition, Athletic Revolution continues through winter and provides a steady dose of activity for participants.
“Kids spend too much time indoors these days,” he said. “I was never in my house.”
Check out Athletic Revolution Ashburn’s Camp Expo and Free Open Gym from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 2.
Liam Daly, who grew up in New York, was an all-American lacrosse player and an all-state soccer player in high school. He went onto play Division II soccer at Keene State before switching to coach and spending seven more years at the school coaching lacrosse and soccer.
“I’m just a sports guy,” he said, making a venture like Athletic Revolution a perfect fit.
The former college lacrosse star had a friend who helped start the Athletic Revolution franchise and eventually, he signed on. And while the franchise’s overarching goal is fitness in general, Liam Daly decided to focus on team sports.
Brandee Daly explained that the facility focuses on “not just new skills, but the character of the kids,” which is part of the requirement for becoming Champion of the Day at Athletic Revolution Ashburn.
“In each class, we talk about being a champion not just in sports, but in everyday life,” she said, adding that the instructors consider hard work, how the kids look after each other and respect.
This past Saturday, Vishnu Bhupatiraju, 6, earned his first Champion of the Day designation, which means he was able to add his name to the champions list for all to see. Vishnu plays soccer and flag football.
“He’s been getting into sports lately,” Bhupatiraju’s father said. “He’s definitely getting skills out of it. He loves it.”
Team sports flow through the veins of the Ashburn community, with the Washington Redskins’ headquarters, the Ashburn Ice House and multiple high-performing high school teams, including the state champion Briar Woods Falcons varsity football team. Ashburn could soon be home to professional baseball and soccer teams as well. With so many great athletes in the area, the Dalys talked about recruiting some of them and “keep it in Ashburn.”
“You bring the good people in community together to help you,” Liam said. “The kids look up to them and move on.”
As the Dalys were putting the franchise in place, an athlete from their neighborhood approached them and worked out well for everyone.
“I kind of reached out to them,” explained Cameron “Cam” Serigne, one of Briar Woods many stars, adding that he wanted to “give back to the kids and share what I’ve learned over the years.”
Learning the fundamentals at a young age is key, Serigne said.
“It would have been cool to have this kind of opportunity growing up,” he said. “It was just me and my dad in the backyard.”
And the advantages appear clear.
“There are kids that have some serious athletic ability for their age,” Serigne said.
“These guys are super kids,” Liam Daly said.