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Our History

SPORTS PLUS was founded in fall 2005 and is directed by Tom and Natalie Liniak, the parents of two children, one of whom is on the autistic spectrum.

In spring 2006, SPORTS PLUS became affiliated with the Soccer Association of Montgomery (SAM), the Discovery Sports Center and the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, MD making the professionally maintained fields of that facility its home base for soccer programs. Due to increasing interest, in summer 2006 SPORTS PLUS expanded its program offerings beyond soccer, to include baseball and basketball for the first time. Volleyball, floor hockey and gym programs were added in late 2006.

In September 2007, SPORTS PLUS began offering programs in Howard County, Maryland for the first time in association with the Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County at the elite Northrop Fields at Covenant Park. SPORTS PLUS now offers year-round programs in Howard County in a variety of sports. That year also marked the beginning of a swim program, in Montgomery County, Maryland, featuring multi-level instruction for skill levels from basic safety and comfort in the water all the way to stroke technique and improvement. The swim program has already more than tripled in size from its inception and is offered year-round in both Gaithersburg and Bethesda.  Our first ever swim meet was held in December 2009. Swim meets are now held every four to six months throughout the year.

June of 2007 also marked the beginning of the SPORTS PLUS EXTRA program. This innovative program provides a variety of customizable individual and small group programs such as bike riding, bowling, fitness and sport specific training and sports social groups that use the vehicle of sports and play to build fitness, social skills, connections and teamwork. CAMP SPORTS PLUS, our summer camp that combines core sports and fitness activities with music, art, dance, science and yoga. An acting segment in conjunction with Imagination Stage and other subjects was held for the first time in summer 2008. The camp was so popular that it had to be greatly expanded for Summer 2009. The spring of 2009 also marked the start of our SPORTS PLUS WEEKDAYS programs. WEEKDAYS offers a series of four week sessions that focus on introducing cutting edge fitness and sports techniques to participants and include visiting subject matter experts from mainstream programs as part of our coaching staff. WEEKDAYS has focused on Bosu and SPARQ training, martial arts, yoga, tai chi, tennis and boot camp training.

In January of 2011, Sports Plus began offering its programs in Northern Virginia for the first time. Sports Plus provides physical education programming and classes for the highly regarded Shire School in Arlington and The Auburn School in Herndon. Sports Plus also provides a full program of swim instruction for the prominent Camellia Learning Center, located in Potomac, Maryland. Sports Plus unique approach not only provides a varied and custom physical education curriculum, but also integrates social, IEP and academic goals for the students into the classes. January 2011 also marked the start of a pilot swim program for young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

 

SPORTS PLUS has received additional inquiries both from around the capital region and around the country to further expand its programs and provide expertise to improve existing programs. Work is already underway to provide additional sports opportunities for children and to extend the age range of children that we serve.

In March of 2008, SPORTS PLUS was the beneficiary of the Washington Capitals third annual Amazing Auction held at the Acela Club in the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. SPORTS PLUS has also been named the children’s non-profit beneficiary for the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 NASA Federal Credit Union Young Run and a beneficiary of the July 4, 2008 Autism Speaks Run in Potomac. Maryland. For the third year in a row, Sports Plus has been selected as a beneficiary by the Washington Nationals for their Autism Awareness Month events. Sports Plus was also named the beneficiary of the May 21, 2011 Germantown 5 Miler road race sponsored by the Montgomery County Road Runners Club. This race and a companion event for children will be an integral event of the Sports Plus Track & Field program starting in 2012.