Upward Sports Expands Reach in Youth Athletics through New State-of-the-Art Multi-Sport Complex

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Caz Speaking at Grand Opening

Wes Johnson Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Star Center Grand Opening

Upward Star Center Combines Athletic Training, Leadership Development and Lab Facilities under One Roof

SPARTANBURG, S.C., Sept. 29, 2014 - Upward Sports, which provides faith-based, youth sports programming across the country, celebrated the opening of its new Upward Star Center on Saturday, Sept. 27. Approximately 5,000 people attended the grand opening of the 120,000-square-foot center, which is located in Spartanburg and features innovative facilities and training equipment for multiple sports and activities. Upward Sports’ president calls the opening of the Upward Star Center another step in the organization's commitment to fully developing young athletes.

"We want to develop young athletes on and off the field," says Caz McCaslin, founder and president of Upward Sports. "To accomplish that, we invest in the young athletes and those who are investing in them. The Upward Star Center will serve as home base for Upward Sports to train and equip coaches and leaders, as well as a testing facility for new sport development and improvement on current techniques."

Upward Sports recently launched the 360 Progression™, which is rooted in the Bible verse Luke 2:52 and designed to develop the athlete mentally, athletically, spiritually and socially. The 360 Progression adapts with players as they advance in age and skill. The Upward Star Center will serve as a national training site for Upward Sports’ program leaders as they work to advance the 360 Progression in its sports leagues across the Southeast and the nation.

The Upward Star Center features six full-sized basketball courts, 12 regulation indoor volleyball courts, four batting cages, a running track, strength and conditioning area with trainers, weights and cardio machines, a speed and agility area, meeting rooms and a retail shop. The 60-acre complex also has lighted sand volleyball courts, artificial turf and grass fields allowing for soccer, lacrosse and flag football.

In addition to the Upward Star Center, the organization has developed Upward Stars for student athletes to compete at the highest level of competition. Extending their programs through high school allows Upward Sports to impact the lives of their players longer, as well. These efforts are part of Upward Sports’ desire to reclaim the landscape of youth sports, as McCaslin and his leadership team continue to see other sports programs sacrifice long-term goals—character development, for example—for short-term gain.

"Sports is a unique medium; its influence reaches nearly every American," said McCaslin. "For nearly 20 years, Upward Sports has used sports as a platform for serving families and communities, building skills and values in young athletes, and demonstrating to them the love of Christ. We’re thrilled to be able to better serve our players through the Upward Star Center. Our dream is to open more of these facilities. We are prayerfully considering that now and are anxiously awaiting a future opportunity to do so."

About Upward Sports

Established in 1995, Upward Sports (a 501(c)(3) organization) is the world’s largest Christian sports league for youth athletics. Upward Sports provides valuable resources that aid in planning, training and executing both recreational- and performance-level divisions. Upward Sports serves athletes across all competitive levels and ages with one message: Play with Purpose. Upward Stars teams compete at the highest level of competition in tournaments across the nation each year. The mission of Upward Sports is promoting the discovery of Jesus through sports. Today, approximately 500,000 players annually participate in Upward Sports recreation clinics, camps and leagues in 45 U.S. states, hosted by more than 2,000 church partners. During the past 18 years, more than 5 million young athletes and 1 million leaders have been involved with the program.