Like all of the best sports stories, it started with a loss.
Tim Borden’s son, Timmy, was a member of the 9-10-year-old Jeff/GRC All-Stars, a team that had advanced as champions out of the 2010 District 5 All-Star Tournament and landed in the semifinals of the Little League state tournament. But a stinging loss in the semifinals stuck in the craw of his father, who helped coach the team.
“We were in the Final Four at state and lost a game that we all thought that we should have won. It made it burn a little bit inside,” Borden said. “We were going through the winter months thinking, ‘Man, I wish we could be doing something.’ So we decided to do this.”
Borden, the owner of several funeral-related businesses in Indiana and Kentucky, decided to build and open the Borden Sports Academy, a 7,000-square-foot facility located along Commerce Pass in Sellersburg. In operation since mid-April, the facility features all-new equipment, including batting cages, a pitching machine and a basketball court that easily converts into a volleyball court. Right now, the facility’s running on an appointment-only schedule, but the word is already starting to spread.
Borden provides the space for his son’s team to use, and the facility has also seen use by both individuals and teams from as far away as Columbus, Ind. A private session in the facility costs $60 per hour for a team, and the cages go for $25 per half hour or $40 per hour. But Borden says it’s not about the money.
“This was more about having a place for the kids,” Borden said. “My career’s in something completely different that supports my family. This was just something for the kids to get better, for my teams to be able to use, and for the community to have a place to come and hit baseballs and get better.”
But that doesn’t mean that Borden wouldn’t like to see the place get busier. He connected with Louisville-based Future Pro Baseball and Softball school owner Matt Baldwin, who had several Hoosier clients. Now, Baldwin has his students from the Indiana side of the bridge meet him at the Borden Sports Academy on Wednesdays and Fridays.
“My kids have been going to them now for a couple of years, and they do a great job,” Borden said. “They were an important part of this, because I knew that they would have a clientelle already built with the kids that were traveling from as far as Corydon and Henryville to go Louisville for their lessons.”
Borden Sports Academy’s location — right across the way from Silver Creek Primary School —was meant to put it in a central location in Clark County, said Patty Borden, Tim’s wife. But it’s a happy coincidence that this year’s Little League District 5 All-Star Tournament is being held at Silver Creek Community Park, which is visible from the academy.
“We’re already seeing the benefits of this, because district’s being held in Silver Creek, which we can see from our building,” Tim Borden said. “So we’re going to be able to take batting practice here the nights of our games and drive a quarter of a mile around and not have to worry about getting cage time.”
It’s not just about baseball. The Bordens hope to see their space rented by volleyball and basketball teams, and expect the space to become busier during bad-weather days and on into winter.
“On rainy days is when we see our most action right now,” Tim Borden said, “which makes me think our winter months are going to be good for us.”
SO YOU KNOW
Borden Sports Academy
4601 Commerce Pass
On Facebook: Borden Sports Academy