April 16, 2021

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Fundraising starts for new gymnastics gym

Morris Area Gymnastics Association was formed in April of 2019 by a group of local gymnastics parents and coaches because they saw a need in the community for a space that would allow for year round classes and training. Kids who love the sport of gymnastics should not be limited to how much they want to learn and achieve simply because they do not have access to the necessary equipment. Morris Area Gymnastics Association consists of a five person board with three separate committees: a building committee, a fundraising committee and a communications committee. They are excited to bring this positive addition to our community to help make it healthier, stronge, and more fun, and to provide more opportunities to our children, gymnasts and families.

The group saw how popular the sport of gymnastics is in this community – classes are almost always filled to capacity and unfortunately there are times kids are turned away because the classes fill up so quickly. They also saw that kids are not able to train to their full potential because gymnastics equipment can only be up for certain times during the year and there is not a training pit, which helps gymnasts learn higher skills safely. The parents want to grow the Morris gymnastics program so the gymnasts are competitive and are not held back by lack of equipment or lack of time in the gym. Many gymnasts travel to outside communities for gymnastics training when it is not available here in Morris. A survey of parents of those gymnasts found that 100% of them ate out and/or shopped in those other communities while they took their child there for gymnastics. It is hoped to keep that business here and attract people to come to Morris for gymnastics and do business in our shops and eat at our restaurants while they are here.

A virtual look inside the new gymnastics facility

The building would be a community center, not just a gym for gymnastics. This would be a great space for kids to have their birthday parties. They would offer open gyms on the weekends, so kids looking for something fun to do can come and play, burn off energy, stay active and work on skills. There would be time set aside each week specifically for daycares to come with their kids. It will be great in the winter when it’s hard to stay active because indoor play space is limited. A variety of classes like ninja classes, boys only classes and agility training for other sports will be offered and there will be gymnastics camps.

The group  has also been talking with an occupational therapist who has been helping them plan a sensory gym that will specifically be geared towards children with sensory needs. They will offer classes and sessions planned and taught by an occupational therapist so children with sensory needs can work on balance, coordination and strength in a safe and welcoming environment.

Currently the building planned is about 12,000 square feet, which is just phase one of the building project – the gymnastics portion only. Phase two would add an additional 3500 square feet and would be the sensory gym and a community room (groups could rent it out for birthday parties, meetings, conferences, etc.), and some extra things added to the gym. A potential site has been identified, but details are still being worked out. 

A fundraiser event will be held on Friday, March 19, at the Eagles. It will be a fish fry with Silent Auction and Raffle. This is sponsored by the Eagles and Fire Side. See the ad in this issue for more details.If you would like to help with this project, whether it be a financial donation, donating your time or services, or are interested in joining a committee, please email a board member: Jen Kill, Reid Rose, Ronda Minnick, Jodi Snell, or Trent Oberg. For more information visit their website: http://www.morrisareaprairietwisters.com. or email: www.morrisareagymnastics@gmail.com.

Katie Erdman