STEVENSVILLE — Kent Island native Robert Wooley, owner of the Edge Training Academy, grew up playing sports that led to a lifelong passion. He is a graduate of Salisbury University with a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and Business. He has spent more than 30 seasons coaching sports.
In 2013, he founded the Edge Training Academy and the Giving the Edge Foundation.
“This is a place where people can work to better themselves on and off the field,” Wooley said. “At the Edge Training Academy, we have one goal in mind, and that is to promote our clients in a direction that will align them with their goals. Regardless of age or ability, we have the resources for you to grow and thrive to reach your potential.”
His nonprofit foundation looks to inspire future generations and help them succeed.
“Giving the Edge Foundation is is an organization whose mission is to provide external support and internal strength young people need to grow into successful, caring, responsible and productive adults,” Wooley said. “The Foundation achieves this through providing opportunities for youth to engage in community service projects, athletic training and development and scholastic achievement activities.”
In 2016, the Edge Arena was founded in Stevensville, where people can participate in many different sports.
“At The Edge Arena we have one goal in mind, and that is to provide our patrons who enjoy participating in extracurricular activity a home to do so,” Wooley said.
“Our efforts for the past seven years have been placed in attempting to fill the voids for the local community that I grew up in,” Wooley said. “I have firsthand experience growing up in this town which affords me an ability to read the pulse and assemble things as building blocks for the folks of the area. My vision all along was to have a place that could serve as the epicenter for community activity and we have done just that.”
The arena has a lot to offer, including child care, and can host different types.
”From birthday parties to youth team practices to gym memberships and personal training, we have a full gamut of offerings that can serve the people of all ages,” Wooley said. “We were once seen as a place just for hardcore athletes and that has changed. We still work with the players who have high aspirations but we are not limited to that population. We have a private training studio, a large indoor field that allows for social distancing activities and a ton of space to spread out in our gym location.
”Child care and a place to send the kids on days off of school have been great additions to ensure we are filling all of the necessary voids for local families in need of support both pre and post COVID.”
The Edge Arena was closed from mid-March until mid-June and has seen a gradual opening, which currently stands under 50% of normal occupancy.
”COVID has given myself and our staff a chance to step back, take the blinders off and make changes for the better,” Wooley said. “We spent our entire shutdown period, from March to June, working on facility improvements and schedule modifications to allow our client base to feel safer and better suited for personal growth upon return. Some of these improvements were done behind the scenes but most were done as direct,’ in your face’ changes that put on full display our care for the people who frequent our establishments. With any help and cooperation from our friend COVID, we will make a better than ever impact on the energy level of the community once things settle down.”
With child care becoming a hot topic with school closures in the fall, the Edge Arena has put in process a plan to offer services for 3 and 4 year olds in the fall.
”As the school year approaches we have made plans to support students and parents in whatever way possible based on the plan that gets released from the school board,” Wooley said. “The large spaces that we occupy give us a unique ability to serve larger groups while maintaining an emphasis on social distancing. We have made many adjustments to our cleaning procedures as well as maintain temperature checks for patrons visiting our locations. We are trying our best to be a part of the solution for those who are longing for physical activity in their new daily norm.”
”A pre- and post-school care element will be provided for school aged children as well,” Wooley said. “The program that we have had in place for multiple years, “No School No Problem” will carry the load for the children who may have days off of school. Whether it is due to a modified school schedule or the standard days they typically have scheduled off, we will be ready to cater to the needs of the families looking for support.”