Sparta businesses band together for open house

| 29 Jan 2014 | 02:05

By Scott Baker
Residents of Sparta’s Police Athletic League complex teamed up to introduce themselves to the community at an open house event Jan. 25.

The complex, located at 38 Station Road, houses the Sparta PAL, Aikido Center and Intrepid Strength and Conditioning Crossfit LMS.

“For us, it’s all about the community,” said Intrepid Strength and Conditioning co-owner Katie Hansen.

This is Intrepid’s second location. Hansen wants to take what she and her husband, Ryan, learned at the Warwick location and build a close-knit community.

Ryan was unable to attend the event, as he and several members were competing in the Crossfit East Coast Championships in Boston. A live stream of the event was set up at Crossfit LMS so guests could experience what the sport is all about.

In addition to their regular business and event stream, Crossfit LMS hosted a competition for trial memberships. The winner of the dead-hang competition was Troy Rodriguez, of Highland Lakes, with a time of one minute and 47 seconds. The 500-meter row had a male and female winner: Jon Trotta, of Ogdensburg, with a time of one minute and 47 seconds, and Melissa Liosa, of Glenwood, with a time of two minutes.

Guests were allowed to take a front-row seat for an aikido class taught by Greg O’Connor.

The class brought together male and female students from ages 13 through 65, who displayed a wide range of abilities.

“It’s never start and stop,” staff instructor Ton Vu said. “[Aikido] is a merry-go-round that keeps on going.”

O’Connor demonstrated several safety-oriented takedowns, which his students then practiced. An interesting thing about aikido, Vu said, was that safety is of paramount concern for both the victim and the attacker.

“One of the fundamentals of the art is how to not get hurt,” he said. “But you have to take care of your attacker, as well.”

Police Athletic League
Sparta’s PAL gymnasium is a state-of-the-art basketball facility for leagues, open gyms, camps and practice. Guests of the open house were treated to a youth game between the Sparta PAL team and the Irish Cottage team, of Franklin.