Big Fish, a local summer day camp and after-school program, has opened a full-time sports facility in Ooltewah to offer kids a safe place to brush up on their sports skills and hang out with friends.
"There is an amazing demand for quality, safe, fun child care," said Big Fish Director Jeremy Deitch. "We wanted to open another place they can come to that is going to be a safe and fun environment."
The new 4,000-square-foot sports facility is the latest in a network of seven Big Fish locations between Chattanooga and Knoxville. The Ooltewah facility accommodates soccer, baseball and softball, with indoor turf, batting cages, pitching mounds and a reception area for parents. The warehouse is available for year-round lessons and clinics for teams or individuals.
"Teams are starting to rent it out once a week for practice during the colder November through February season," Deitch said.
To further the organization's focus on creating a safe, Christ-like environment, Big Fish is also planning on partnering with local churches and schools to start flag football and Upward sports programs at the new facility, said Deitch.
Most of the coaches at the new facility have worked at the local Big Fish camp and also compete in D1, major and minor league athletics, Deitch said.
Last year, 1,200 students participated in the Big Fish summer camp, he said. The kids' love for the coaches and the counselors' talents for coaching is what spurred the decision to open the permanent facility.
"They don't just want to come to day camp every day, they want to go to baseball camp — a specialty camp where they can really learn — and then come back to day camp the next week and learn about God," Deitch said.
Camp Big Fish and Big Fish Afterschool accept rising kindergartners through rising seventh-graders.
The warehouse is also available for birthday party and team rentals. Call 504-1622 for more information or visit bigfishsports.org.
For questions about Big Fish camps, visit campbigfish.org.
Email Heather Newlin at email@example.com.