Hudson and Chatham alumni come together for a good cause on June 23 as former Panther Mike Sirani holds the grand opening of his Capital District Sports and Fitness center in Round Lake.
Hudson star Rashad Barksdale will be in attendance with donations going to his It’s OK to Dream Foundation.
Sirani grew up in Ghent with athletics being a big part of his upbringing.
“Most of my childhood memories involve playing some type of made up game in the back yard with friends, going to the Ghent recreation summer program, or being at the Chatham Baseball Complex,” he said. “Regardless of how much time I spent playing or practicing, my size and skill level required me to have to work harder than most others to make a team or excel on the field.”
Flash to the summer before his freshman year of high school and Sirani recalls baseball coach Scott Steltz getting him into the weight room to prep for the upcoming baseball season.
“I can confidently say that after the first week or two I was hooked,” Sirani said. “By my junior year of high school, I was creating training programs for a group of friends and then began falling in love the training process — manipulating sets, reps and exercises to see what changes it could make to the body.”
That passion led Sirani to Springfield College, where he played baseball and majored in Exercise Science.
During his time in college, Sirani interned at a number of fitness facilities where he had the opportunity to work with professional baseball players.
“I started to envision the type of training environment and facility that I wanted to create in the New York’s Capital District,” he said. “And then this past January, my wife, Samantha, and I decided to move back to the Capital District from Boston to make this vision come to life.”
Sirani connected with former Springfield College teammate and Mechanicville native Dan Jones to form the new gym.
Jones had spent time conducting speed and agility classes at Frozen Ropes in Albany and received a degree in Sports Biology from Springfield College.
“Dan specializes in helping clients and athletes reach their highest potential through functional training and mental skills training,” Sirani said, adding that Jones completed his Master’s Degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Exercise and Sport Psychology.
The two former Capital Region natives and baseball teammates felt their combined resumes were perfectly suited for a joint venture. Sirani’s wife is also on staff as a registered dietician.
“I felt like the Capital District was missing a place where athletes and those who wanted to really excel in strength training could come to and have access to a great training environment, great coaching and quality training,” Sirani said.
The gym is geared toward helping high school, college and professional athletes perform at a high level.
“Every athlete begins with a comprehensive movement assessment to help us determine how they move, their goals, and injury history,” Sirani explained. “This will allow us to write them a customized training program based on all of the information we gathered during their initial ‘Strategy Session.’ Once their program is written, athletes will train with that program in groups with other athletes. We’ve learned that the customized training program done in a small group setting leads to the best results because an athlete can get exactly what their body needs to excel and train with a group that motivates and supports them.”
The grand opening of the 3,000-square foot gym will be held on June 23. A minimum donation of $5 is recommended.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with classes running throughout. Death Wish Coffee Company will have drinks available, Singlecut Beersmiths will be providing beverages and raffles will be held for the Tri-City Valleycats as well as Death Wish Coffee.
Teaming up with Barksdale for the grand opening seemed like a no-brainer for Sirani.
“Rashad’s father and my father worked together as New York State Troopers, so I had known Rashad through that connection,” he said. “When we opened the facility, we knew we wanted to put on a big charity event for our grand opening, and there’s no better person from the Capital Region that represents our gym’s values than Rashad.”Grand Opening Class Schedule
9 a.m. Adult Group Training Met-Con Charity Class
10 a.m. Youth Athletic Development Charity Class
11 a.m. High School and Youth Athlete Q&A and Meet and Greet with Rashad Barksdale
11:30 a.m. Sports Performance Charity Class
12:30-4:30 p.m. Let’s Party. We’ll be grilling and serving food. Feel free to hang out, eat, drink and talk to our staff at CDSF. You’ll also be able to win some CDSF gear and receive special promotional offers for training at CDSF.