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October 17, 2017 10:06 PM

Local Gymnastics Programs Soaring

Several area businesses are flying high thanks to more interest in gymnastics.

Across the nation and in KELOLAND more kids are taking part in the sport.

Elizabeth Fossum is stepping into the world of gymnastics. The four-year-old just started taking classes at Wings Gymnastics Academy.

"She's in preschool. That only takes a couple of mornings a week, so it's fun to have something else to come and do," Elizabeth's mother, Stephanie Fossum, said.

A lot of other area kids are also vaulting into the sport. Since it opened in 2011, Wings has added on and then found a different, larger location.

"When we opened in 2011, we started with 40 students. When we opened this location, we had around 200," Wings Gymnastics Academy Owner Alicia Reiners said.

Just two years later, Wings has around 650 students.

Across town the energy and attendance at Power & Grace Gymnastics is also running high. The owners will soon break ground on a new, larger gym at the Sanford Sports Complex.

"If you look at the high school programs and club programs, the love of the sport is being spread. It's gone really well," Power & Grace Owner Dennis Champoux said.
So why are more kids jumping into gymnastics? Gym owners say it's because of a variety of reasons, including getting kids out during this digital age.

"They definitely want to get out and be active, especially in the winter when it's cold, and there's nothing to do," Reiners said.

Reiners says the industry has also changed. It's not just for parents who are trying to land their kids in the Olympics.

"Gymnastics is no longer just an elite sport. The benefits of gymnastics are starting to be known to parents, whether it be coordination and balance or social skills," Reiners said.

Skills that Fossum hopes will have her daughter looking up in life.

"She' a little more outgoing, and she's more willing to try new things because some of the things they have her do in gymnastics, she's never done before," Fossum said.

While most of the kids taking part in gymnastics are girls, Power & Grace is seeing more interest from boys.

It plans to launch a boy's competitive team at its new facility next June.

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