The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Washington Sports Club closes after 20 years

Sophomore+Ethan+Pletter+works+out+at+Washington+Sports+Club.+This+was+one+of+the+last+times+he+used+this+machine+as+the+gym+closed+on+January+31.
William Murphy
Sophomore Ethan Pletter works out at Washington Sports Club. This was one of the last times he used this machine as the gym closed on January 31.

On Jan. 31, the doors of Washington Sports Club on Old Georgetown Road will officially close. With the lease agreement over, hundreds of people, including WJ students, have hit their last PR, broke their last sweat on the treadmills and lifted their final weights inside the walls squeezed between Designer Shoe Warehouse and Kicks Karate.

WSC brought in all types of distinctive people, including WJ students. With its geographical convenience next door to WJ, students could be found working out at WSC on a regular basis.

“I play baseball and the gym helped make me more explosive and more powerful. It had everything and fit every single person’s needs for any sport,” freshman Juan Pena Simon said.

The gym became a community staple with its welcoming environment and history of over 20 years in Georgetown Square as it satisfied every customer’s needs.

“It wasn’t that much money so it was a good deal. On the bottom was cardio and upstairs was the free weights and some of the machines. Then there were the locker rooms with a sauna and some showers. It had a lot,” sophomore Ethan Pletter said.

New York Sports Club (NYSC) is an organization based in New York City aimed at “improving lives through fitness.” With over 50 locations, NYSC hopes to keep a local, neighborhood feel, and the location in Bethesda, named Washington Sports Club (WSC), lined up with this mission statement, uniting neighborhoods of Bethesda and Rockville in an unique environment.

“Everyone [was] tight-knit, family. Everyone here [motivated] each other to push further and make as much progress in their fitness goals as possible,” WSC Front Desk Supervisor David Clem said.

Behind the scenes, many employees put their full effort into making Washington Sports Club what it is.

“We definitely [wanted] to improve everyone’s life through fitness. Working with my co-workers, being able to lead them but also have them teach me things that I didn’t know [was] a great experience.” Clem said.

However, nothing lasts forever, and the Bethesda and Rockville communities will say their final goodbyes on the final day of this month.

“They emailed us and told us that they could no longer pay the rent. I’m sad as it is the end of a chapter,” Simon said.

This closure comes three years after the company’s Silver Spring and downtown Bethesda locations closed, and marks the final nail in the coffin for any Washington Sports Club location in Maryland.

“I’m going to miss everyone here. I feel a little bittersweet because I learned a lot here, I learned a lot from others, I made some good connections and I’m pretty bummed out but I’m looking forward to new opportunities,” Clem said.

The members were shocked to hear the news that the WSC family was broken up.

“For most of them [the members], they were sad for some of us because they didn’t want to see us go and we didn’t want to leave either, but unfortunately a decision was made,” Clem said.

Although members can still transition to other NYSC clubs in the DC area, those are all in DC itself, so each member now has to figure out how they will continue on with their fitness journey.

“Those people who were working out [at WSC] are going to have to find a new gym, including myself. I have to look at some new gyms, but I will probably now go to LA Fitness or OneLife,” Pletter said.

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William Murphy, Photography Editor
Sophmore William Murphy is thrilled to be a part of the Pitch for his first year as a Photo Editor. William likes to play baseball and watch movies in his freetime.
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