Flippin' outFor almost a decade, South Washington Community Education has been holding a variety of gymnastics programs, lessons and parties at Woodbury and Park high schools and, this year, at East Ridge.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
Warning! Kids in south Washington County are flipping out.
But, not to worry. It’s just that, for almost a decade, South Washington Community Education has been holding a variety of gymnastics programs, lessons and parties at Woodbury and Park high schools and, this year, at East Ridge.
The programs are led by the coaching staffs from Park, Woodbury and East Ridge high schools with instruction from current and former District 833 high school gymnasts.
“It’s a great opportunity for kids of all different ages and levels,” Woodbury gymnastics coach Harvey Hammick said. “It just teaches our kids, starting at a young age, a lot of positive things like staying on the right track and staying healthy. I really like the fact that it’s a community program and it’s open to whoever wants to be in it.”
The various programs are designed for gymnasts of all ages and ability — from preschoolers looking to give gymnastics a try to high school gymnasts looking to stay sharp to adults who are looking to get back into competition shape.
According to South Washington County District Education Activity Center Coordinator Tim Maurer, the focus of the program is to provide a safe environment to create gymnastics through respect, confidence, self-awareness, strength and flexibility.
Roughly 250 to 300 kids per month take part in the program.
“It’s just kids having fun,” Hammick said. “These kids are having a blast right now. The most important factor is the fun. We want them to enjoy themselves, learn their fair share of gymnastics and come back again.”
In addition to its recreational program for kids, South Washington County Community Education currently offers a boys-only program, an adult program, a special needs program, a high school workout program, private lessons — and even gymnastics birthday parties on the weekends.
“Those are a great opportunity, especially in the winter months, for kids to run around, do some tumbling and let off a lot of steam with the coaches,” Maurer said. “The kids have a lot of fun with it. We just have them eat the cake and ice cream at the end — after the running around and tumbling.”
The programs at the high schools are open to everyone, regardless of what town a person lives in.
“These aren’t just open to kids in certain school boundaries, they are open to all the kids in the entire district,” Maurer said. “We want people to know that just because they live in Woodbury, doesn’t mean they can’t take a course at Park and vice-versa. This gymnastics program is open to everyone and community education serves the entire community.”
For more information, visit www.cecool.com or call Tim Maurer at (651) 458-6611
For additional photos see the Aug. 25 issue of the Bulletin