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How did SPIRE first come about? When did they break ground?
Ron and Tracy Clutter, who live here in Geneva, first wanted to help the local community and schools collaborate and utilize shared resources with a recreational facility.
They created the Geneva Area Recreational, Educational and Athletic Trust, known as GaREAT, which is a 501 (c) (3) and the philanthropic underpinning for the SPIRE Institute. There is currently no bank debt on the facility.
Construction began in Fall of 2008 and seven months later, the Field and Courts building opened.
The complex is now known as SPIRE Institute. The mission at SPIRE is to unlock the full potential of the human spirit through athletics, academics, and service to others. As an acronym, SPIRE is bookended by Sports and Education, two anchors of the mission.
Foundation, corporate and individual contributions will be integral to seeing the mission continue and expand.
What exactly is SPIRE, a sports facility?
It is an incredibly unique world class sports, education, training and wellness complex that includes:
* 750,000 sq. ft. of Olympic Caliber indoor training grounds and outdoor facilities spread over nine acres, along with nationally renowned coaches.
* SPIRE Academy offers High School and Post Graduate sports training and academic programs, Training Camps for individuals and teams in Swimming, Volleyball, Track & Field, Throws and Basketball, with more sport programs coming.
* facilities to host every level of event from high school football games to international multi-sport tournaments.
* the most inclusive and diverse mix of athletes in one place - from elite athletes to recreational athletes, Paralympians and Special Olympians, from Weekend Warriors to the Wounded Veteran - all utilizing resources customized to their individual needs.
* only the 2nd Michael Johnson Performance Training Center in the world. MJP will train athletes in all sports utilizing the same principles that helped Michael achieve his 4 Gold Medals and unprecedented success.
* mental skills training with SPIRE Sport Psychology Services.
* And Andrews Osborne Academy, a co-ed college preparatory academy and curriculum centered around three of SPIRE’s core values: academics, athletics and service to others.
How will SPIRE continue to be funded?
SPIRE is a non-profit with every dollar invested back into the mission, the facilities and programming.
We strive to offer our programs to under-served deserving athletes by offering financial assistance. Philanthropic support of these initiatives and scholarship funds will be critical.
Can they really expect enough people here to be successful?
It is important to keep in mind that between events and the Academy, our participants will be national and international in scope, aside from all of the resources available to all of the participants in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Tremendous facilities, coaching, education, talent, and competition will, without a doubt attract student athletes from around the world.
We like to show people a map because while it is pretty astounding to see how centrally located Geneva is certainly to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Erie, and areas like Columbus, and Northeast Ohio - it is within 6 hours from major metropolitan areas like Baltimore, Washington, Detroit, Chicago, New York and Toronto and also within 500 miles of Boston, Charlotte, and Montreal.
Actually Geneva can reach the largest number of consumers within a 250-mile radius of any U.S. metro market.
Geneva is of course where Ron and Tracy are from and where they live and it is very important to them to have this tremendous resource here and attract individuals from around the world to positively impact Geneva and the surrounding area with economic investment and development.
What sports will be at the Academy?
Swimming, volleyball, track & field, throws and basketball begin in 2012, as did team training camps for soccer. Nationally and internationally renowned coaches have been hired for these sports.
All athletes will have the benefit of training at Michael Johnson Performance and utilizing the training methods that helped him achieve his unprecedented success. All athletes will also have access to Mental Skills Training. Innovative nutritional programming through SPIRE Fuel, detailed below, is also included for each SPIRE athlete.
How often will Michael Johnson be here?
Michael will be here a few times throughout the year to work with athletes. He has personally overseen the hiring of individuals who know and utilize his training methods to run the Michael Johnson Performance Training Center here at SPIRE. He will stay involved on an ongoing basis in the training and education of the trainers at his SPIRE facility.
Is SPIRE similar to IMG Academies?
SPIRE is unique in that it is the first time that four sports such as these - volleyball, track and field, basketball and swimming will be done in one comprehensive multi sport setting. Just as importantly, there is an equal emphasis on education as well as athletics and SPIRE is creating its own college preparatory school to align with its mission.
The extensive club, league, tournament and special event activities at SPIRE, alongside its camp/academy programs, is also unique to the industry.
SPIRE is also non-profit, a big differentiator.
What athletes are coming to train at the Academy?
There will be athletes from around the world that come to train at SPIRE, all ages and all abilities. SPIRE’s vision is to be the most diverse and inclusive place for athletes to learn and train so there will elite athletes, recreational athletes, Paralympians, and Wounded Veterans training side by side. Juniors, collegians, post collegiate Olympic hopefuls and Masters level athletes will co-exist at SPIRE.
How is the relationship with Lake Erie Silver Dolphins working?
Lake Erie Silver Dolphins is one of the most highly successful swim clubs in the nation with over 350 members and Coach Jerry Holtrey at the helm. He has won 23 state championships while at Hawken School and his swimmers have been Olympians and international medalists. He will continue to coach at Hawken but has merged the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins with SPIRE and the new aquatics center will be a tremendous resource for his swimmers. It is Olympic size at 50 meters and has 10 lanes and was designed as one of the fastest pools in the country with a state of the art facility. SPIRE will help LESD continue to grow throughout Northeast Ohio.
Will the general public be able to use the pool or fitness area?
Yes, definitely. There are some very exciting swim programs for recreational athletes to take advantage of. A few examples are: water aerobics, learn to swim, masters swim classes and scuba classes. SPIRE FIT will be a tremendous workout area with all of the latest equipment and some interesting classes as well. A few of those are: cycling, Zumba, yoga, and Pilates.
Are any Olympic sports training here?
We have had a series of very positive conversations with the United States Olympic Committee and many of their National Governing Bodies. Their Chairman and CEO have visited to discuss specific plans for an official partnership. We are exploring grassroots programs, our residential Academy, training for Olympians and Paralympians and the opportunity to host events at SPIRE.
Where will the student athletes live?
For at least the first years of operation, boarding students will live at Andrews Osborne Academy.
Where will they take classes?
What is SPIRE Fuel and is it open to the public?
SPIRE Fuel is open to the public. Integral to SPIRE’s vision is the focus on the whole self and nutrition is central to that.
We will have a FIT menu that helps individuals with alternatives and educates them so they can make informed decisions about health and nutrition.
Fuel offers zero added trans fats, local produce when available, no artificial flavors or coloring, and the emphasis on fresh ingredients and whole grains.
With a program called SMART Receipt, individuals can receive personalized nutrition information with their food purchases so they can make healthy decisions.
What events are taking place here or have taken place?
We had the USA Junior Men’s Volleyball team practicing here the past two summers and have hosted a number of events including the NAIA Track and Field Championships, NCAA Division I Track and Field Invitational, MAC Volleyball Championships and Penn State and Ohio State Men’s Volleyball.
Aside from just the sporting events, it is important to keep in mind the capability of SPIRE for holding world-class corporate events in its Banquet Center.
Where is SPIRE Institute located?
SPIRE Institute is located directly off I-90 in beautiful Geneva, Ohio, just 45 miles from downtown Cleveland and minutes away from the world-famous Geneva on the Lake resort area, pristine wineries and championship golf and fishing.
How do I get to SPIRE?
Go East on I-90. Exit off the Geneva Exit (exit #218 on Rt. 534). Take a left at the light heading north. SPIRE entrance will be on your right.
Go West on I-90. Exit off the Geneva Exit (exit #218 on Rt. 534). Take a right off the exit heading north. SPIRE entrance will be on your right.
Take PA Turnpike to OH Turnpike. Take first exit marked 680 towards Youngstown. The road will take you around Youngstown and then exit 680 onto Route 711 at exit 3a. Route 711 then turns into Route 11. Stay on Route 11 about 40 miles until you hit I-90 and take that west for two exits to the Geneva Exit (exit #218 on Rt. 534). Take a right off the exit heading north. SPIRE entrance will be on your right.
May I visit SPIRE Institute and take a tour?
We welcome everyone to visit SPIRE and tour our world-class facilities. Please call 440.466.1002 to schedule a time.
How can I learn more about SPIRE programs and events?
We encourage everyone to sign up to receive information on upcoming events and athletic and educational opportunities. Please also visit our events calendar to learn about the exciting things taking place at SPIRE.
Do you have wireless internet at SPIRE?
Yes. SPIRE facilities has free wireless throughout the facilities.
Can I donate to SPIRE?
Yes. Donations are welcome and, as a 501c3 organization, fully deductible within limits of the law. SPIRE accepts outright as well planned gifts, gifts of cash and stock, and contributions through estates and charitable trusts and annuities. In certain cases, gifts in-kind are also considered.