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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Alpha Elite Sports coming to Bowman Center

Rick Brown in the future home of Alpha Elite Sports.

A gym and wellness center catering to military veterans, teenage athletes and local fitness enthusiasts is scheduled to open early next month at Spotsylvania County’s Bowman Center.

Rick Brown, a U.S. Army veteran and personal trainer who has a long background in competitive sports, is now transforming a vacant warehouse on Bowman Drive into the home of Alpha Elite Sports.

The adjacent A. Smith Bowman Distillery formerly used the 7,500-square-foot space to bottle whiskey. Brown plans to fill it with fitness equipment, climbing ropes, a turf field and more. He plans to open the business Oct. 8. Allison Graves and Steve Schattgen with Coldwell Banker Commercial Carriage House Realty in Fredericksburg have been involved with the leasing process.

Brown has been formulating plans for Alpha Elite Sports for much of his life. Growing up in Lynchburg, he spent most of his time playing tennis, football and basketball and running track at a high level. After a year at the Virginia Military Institute he entered the U.S. Army, where he served in special operations between 2002 and 2006.

After getting out of the Army, Brown moved to Washington state and started training elite athletes, including two men who played on Korea’s Olympic basketball team in 2008. He then returned to his alma mater, Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, to help with the strength program.

Brown moved to the Fredericksburg area, where his mother has spent time, about a year and a half ago. Since then he has been working as a personal trainer and making plans to open Alpha Elite Sports.

Now, Brown wants to use the skills he has learned along the way to help achieve the fitness and wellness goals of two groups he can most relate to: military veterans and youth athletes.

He envisions a facility where those groups can develop a fitness routine with the help of personal trainers, receive counseling and leadership training, and form self-support groups. He’d also like to involve groups such as the Boy Scouts of America and Boys & Girls Clubs of America with an eye toward youth development.

“I want them to have a place to come to,” Brown said.

Brown may be just getting started. He might lease an adjacent roughly 35,000 square feet at the Bowman Center that could be used for a field hockey practice facility, batting cages, firefighter training or even indoor paintball. He’d like to open more Alpha Elite facilities around the country in areas with a large military presence.

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