WATCH: This giant sports facility sits quietly in a corner of Xenia, but it has a worldwide reach

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia has 6 synthetic turf fields used by 12,000 athletes in the past year

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Those who don’t drive U.S. 35 around Xenia or have kids playing sports might have missed one of the largest and most unique sports complexes in the region.

Tucked away in the southeast corner of Xenia is the Athletes in Action Sports Complex and Retreat Center, which coexists with the Legacy Center on 235 acres that was built as a home for Civil War orphans in 1870.

The property was home to more than 13,500 orphans over the years and ceased operation in 1997. The land and buildings were purchased in 1999 by Legacy Ministries International and the Legacy Christian Academy PreK through 12 school was opened in the same year.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia has 5 playing fields lit for evening games

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Soon after, Athletes in Action moved its world headquarters to the Legacy Center and began planning for the Athletes in Action Sports Complex and Retreat Center.

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“Athletes in Action is now celebrating its 52nd year as the sports branch of Campus Crusade for Christ,” said SCRC director Dean Bouzeos, who took over this role in 2014

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Two lighted, regulation size soccer fields at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia. Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Two lighted, regulation size soccer fields at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia.  Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

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Two lighted, regulation size soccer fields at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia. Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

AIA recruits college or post-college athletes to form sports teams that compete and minister to others.

“Last year, we sent over 30 American teams to international locations on mission trips. They get a great experience going internationally serving in missions ... and it shares the good news of Jesus Christ to a world that needs him,” Bouzeos said.

AIA trains athletes in nine sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, track, soccer, swimming, football, volleyball and sports performance.

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Grady's Field is a baseball stadium and field at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia. Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Grady's Field is a baseball stadium and field at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia.  Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Grady's Field is a baseball stadium and field at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia. Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The sprawling sports complex consists of synthetic turf fields for soccer, football, baseball and softball. An all-weather, eight-lane track, two volleyball courts and a team-building rope course that is 40 feet in the air are included.

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The Retreat Center has five dorms that can accommodate about 300 people and a banquet hall that will seat 900 with onsite catering service.

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One of two lighted, regulation size soccer fields at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia. Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

One of two lighted, regulation size soccer fields at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia.  Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
One of two lighted, regulation size soccer fields at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia. Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The AIA Sports Complex is also home to local school teams, club teams and college teams. Legacy Christian Academy hosts track, baseball and soccer at AIA. Ohio Galaxies and Buckeye Soccer Clubs call AIA home, and Sinclair Community College utilizes the baseball and softball as their home fields. The Ohio Athletic Association has utilized the baseball field for State Tournament play.

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Team Building Challenge Ropes Course at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia. Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Team Building Challenge Ropes Course at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia.  Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Team Building Challenge Ropes Course at Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia. Built on land from the former Ohio Veteran's Children's Home, Athletes in Action installed seven synthetic turf playing fields in 2006 including two soccer, two softball, one baseball and one football field. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

In the past year, more than 500 teams with 12,000 athletes have played at the facility, according to Bouzeos.

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