The United States Naval Academy Business Services Division (NABSD) offers a variety of activities and amenities to enhance the lives of the United States Naval Academy students, known as midshipmen, or simply “mids.”
The Brigade Sports Complex (BSC) is located across the Severn River from “the Yard” as the Naval Academy campus is affectionately known. The BSC offers an ice arena, six indoor and six outdoor tennis courts, three rugby pitches in addition to locker rooms and support facilities for associated teams, a gym including weights and cardio equipment, a fitness studio for classes, and a café with WiFi access.
By virtue of being across the river, midshipmen receive a few automatic benefits. Despite the BSC being part of the Naval Academy, it feels separate, and that can be relaxing to the midshipmen. MIDN 4/C Anthony Capuano, who plays Division 2 club hockey for the Naval Academy says, “The BSC is a great place to get off the Yard to work out and play hockey.”
MIDN 4/C Luke Turk, who plays hockey for the Division 1 club team agrees, “The BSC is a great place where I can get away from the stresses of the Academy to work out and hang out with teammates.”
The BSC’s distance from the Yard also serves as a workout for many midshipmen. The route between the main campus area of the Naval Academy and the BSC clocks in at over six miles as a round trip, and is full of midshipmen once classes end for the day. Revenue earned by NABSD helps fund a daily shuttle for teams that are hosted by the BSC, as well as midshipmen who choose not to make the run. The hours for the shuttle are extended to include special events such as hockey games. NABSD Deputy Director, Phil Allison, notes that the shuttles are appreciated by the midshipmen as a way to make their Friday and Saturday nights more enjoyable. He says the amount of midshipmen at the hockey games (which is facilitated in part by the shuttles), “provides a festive atmosphere which bolsters ticket sales to alumni and the general public.” MIDN Capuano adds, “A lot of my classmates tell me how much they love coming to watch our games.”
Once they get to the BSC, midshipmen are offered a variety of activities at no charge. MIDN 4/C Sheridynn Scheppers appreciates the weights and cardio equipment, as well as the free yoga classes. Indeed the BSC offers a full range of fitness classes free to midshipmen, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, kickboxing, TRX, and more. MIDN 3/C Justice Cash also appreciates the, “awesome tennis courts,” where idshipmen can show up, get racquets, balls, and a court for free.
Of course at a military academy, physical fitness is a primary objective for the students, and MIDN 3/C Aries Wong sums it up best, saying, “With a full-size gym, ice rink, tennis courts, and a rugby field, the BSC is a place that all midshipmen can go for varsity practice or just a good overall workout.” Wong adds, “At the BSC, midshipmen are able to fulfill the Naval Academy’s physical mission when weather is not conducive to outdoor activity.” Certainly between the shuttles and so much activity under one roof, the BSC can accommodate a plethora of activities for midshipmen to participate in year round.
The BSC also supports teams and midshipmen in other areas of our facility. The BSC hosts a variety of coaching offices for tenant teams to enable the entire team to be in-house. Teams have access to a fully-stocked and staffed training room which handles everything from routine care to injuries. A conference room with a projector, often used by teams to view game footage, is accessible to all midshipmen for a variety of functions. After all the workouts and team functions, midshipmen can relax in the Coaches Corner Café which overlooks both the tennis courts and the hockey arena. During hockey games, those who wish to warm up from the cold rink can come upstairs and enjoy live commentary and video of the game in the Café.
The staff of the BSC take pride in the facility’s mission to support the Brigade of Midshipmen. Their passion is evident as they strive to enhance the experience of each midshipman that walks through the door.
For example, Michael Yff is an Assistant Facility Manager and a coach for Navy’s Division 2 club hockey program. Kevin Kmiecik is the head tennis pro at the facility, and often volunteers to help direct Navy’s tennis tournaments, juggling players from up to a dozen teams all weekend. Rick Young can be found performing maintenance on the facility’s ice surface at 4:30 a.m., and Sean Woolums will be cleaning the tennis courts until almost midnight on the same day. The BSC staff is firmly dedicated to fulfilling NABSD’s mission of excellence in serving the Brigade everyday by enabling teams and midshipmen the use of a first-class facility for all their pursuits.