Keith Williams, founder and president of Courageous Inc. believes that one of the most effective ways to build community is to strengthen families and children. Keith’s facility at 12925 Auburn does indeed strengthen families and children – literally. Inside this 6000 square foot former auto repair shop there is a fully equipped weight room, aerobic equipment, a three lane 40 meter track, a golf simulator, and batting cages. The main focus of Keith and Courageous Inc. is the Courageous Sports Academy which offers “a place to develop and improve athletically, physically, and socially.” Athletes of all types can come to this facility and find not just the equipment necessary to improve their strength and agility, but they will also find coaches and personal trainers with a great deal of experience. Johnnie Drake is a personal trainer and the manager of Courageous Sports Academy (CSA). Johnnie, a long time field and track athlete, has some pretty impressive experience: “I broke the world record in the 60 meter dash,” he says, adding somewhat wistfully, “for one week I was the fastest man in the world – until someone else came along and broke my record.”
CSA offers training for all middle, high school, and college athletes to enhance their speed power, agility, flexibility, and/or their overall conditioning. CSA also organizes football, track, and baseball clinics. Many schools take advantage of the facility as a supplement to physical education programs. CSA also offers karate classes, Zumba, and even a Gospel-cise class that will start soon. Hockey players, gymnasts, cheerleading and tumbling teams have also used Courageous Inc. to develop their strength and agility. Keith has plans to organize a flag football league next. He also envisions a sporting goods store next door to the gym, a silk screen printing shop next to that because “teams need uniforms, right?” Keith even has plans beyond Detroit: “Imagine if we could duplicate this somewhere else, in other cities.” Keith is smiling when he says this, but Johnnie looks a little nervous.
Johnnie has been working with Keith since the beginning of Courageous Inc. in 2011, and he knows that when Keith gets inspired, Keith doesn’t let much discourage him. Johnnie learned about Courageous Inc. through his Central Michigan University roommate and old Cass Tech buddy, Maxwell, who also happens to be Keith’s son. Soon after graduating, Maxwell, Johnnie and Keith began working together on what would become Courageous Inc. Johnnie remembers that they “worked really hard” to transform the space. There was a car lift in the middle of the room where the track now runs, and a lot of clean-up had to happen before they could open their doors. According to Keith, it all happened because he “had a good team.” Keith admits that the three of them had “some long talks in the war room” about how they were going to make it work, but work it has. Last year, along with support from Wayne State University, CSA’s summer football camp had over 800 kids sign up. Ike Blessitt, a former Tiger, is their go-to batting coach, and DTE Energy, UAW Ford, The Wayne County Commission, the Wayne County Health Department and Quicken Loans have all contributed to CSA.
Word is getting out to Grandmont Rosedale too. Some of the Rosedale Grandmont Little League teams have gone to Courageous Inc. for batting practice. It’s really nice to have batting cages so close to home. CSA has many options for conditioning and strengthening to choose from. For more information about the facility and the programming offered, go to courageoussportsacademy.com or call 313-208-5179. Located at 12925 Auburn, Courageous Inc. is open Mon. – Fri. 10 am – 10 pm, Sat. 8 am – 9 pm, and Sun. 2 pm – 6 pm, by reservation only.