Aim High Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
"Aim High Academy combines FITNESS and FAITH to help build bright FUTURES in urban children and youth from the North Tulsa community and beyond."
October 2012, GTRNEWS
Gym Encourages Health Through Fitness
TULSA WORLD OF GYMNASTICS
As the Olympics begin and gymnasts take the spotlight, girls and boys throughout the world will dream of, one day, becoming Olympians. However, the owners and coaches at Tulsa World of Gymnastics want everyone to know that gymnastics is not only for individuals with such high aspirations.
Entering its 36th year of business, Tulsa World of Gymnastics has seen many of its gymnasts use the sport as a catalyst into other productive activities. “There is so much more to gymnastics than the competitive level,” says gym owner Linda Bradshaw.
“Gymnastics develops skills that last a lifetime. It is the foundation for any sport or activity,” she says. “It teaches flexibility, balance, coordination and strength, as well as confidence, self-esteem and discipline. When students accomplish a skill that they’ve been practicing, they see that they can do it. That gives them the confidence to learn and accomplish other things.
“That’s what we’re here for: to build the foundation and then let students go on to attain whatever it is that they want. And parents need to realize that there is a definite parallel with physical activities and academic achievement.”
Bradshaw and her husband, Wayne, opened Tulsa World of Gymnastics in 1976. They leased a building for 18 years before moving to their current location, 7020 E. 38th Street, in 1993. Tulsa World of Gymnastics offers programs for home-schooled children, special needs individuals, recreational gymnasts, and children as young as one year old who participate in Mommy and Me classes.
“Within the last few years, we have recognized the need for physical activity for home-schooled children,” says Bradshaw. “We provide access to gymnastics equipment and a program that allows them to interact with our professional staff.” Classes tailored for homeschoolers include fitness and gymnastic activities that build body awareness, strength and coordination, plus information about nutrition and the importance of fitness.
Special needs individuals of all ages can enroll in classes specifically for them. One such class, called Adult Abilities, has students ranging from ages 25-65.
“These kids grow up and become adults, and they still need activities,” Bradshaw says. Some who attend the class have been attending for more than ten years. The gym also offers inclusion, in which special needs children can participate in progressive gymnastics classes based on their individual abilities. “Moms are looking for something to help their kids who struggle with these issues,” Bradshaw says. “We hope that we will be the ones to make a difference and help these kids use physical activity to stimulate their motor skills, large and small.”
Recreational gymnastics classes are available for beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels. “It’s important to build awareness that gymnastics is an activity that all children can enjoy and reap benefits without the competition,” she says. “They can just have fun.”
Mommy and Me classes are available for children starting at one year old. In this class, mothers interact with their children through music and physical activities.
Toddler and Kinder-Gym classes are open to children aged two years and older. They teach motor skills, coordination, listening, and body awareness and extension.
“The class also allows toddlers to learn separation so that they are comfortable being with someone other than their mom,” Bradshaw says. “But until the toddler and mother can make that separation, we do allow Mom to stay in the class. We don’t want anxieties going on for either the toddler or the parent.” There is also a viewing room where parents can sit and observe classes.
Bradshaw appreciates that the gym is a place where parents can enjoy themselves. She knows of many parents who have made lifelong friends at her gym. Parents also have free access to a fitness area with treadmills, bicycles and a weight station.
After 35 years of working with gymnasts, Bradshaw concludes that one of the most rewarding parts of her job is hearing about the successes of former students.
She remembers two young female gymnasts who later joined the pole vaulting team at Harvard University. Bradshaw has seen other students become writers and lawyers, and earn their Ph.D.
The bottom line is that gymnastics affects lives long after students leave the gym, she says.
“So many kids can benefit from gymnastics activities. They don’t have to be on the competitive level or make a huge commitment. We want kids to be well rounded and have social activities and fun while putting emphasis on fitness and its benefits.”
Original story link:
BALANCED TRAINING: Tulsa World of Gymnastics is entering its 36th year of business. Owners Wayne and Linda Bradshaw aim to share the many benefits of gymnastics with children and their families. Gym offerings include classes for home-schooled children, special needs individuals, recreational gymnasts and children starting at one year old.
Aim High Main Campus • 7020 E 38th St • Tulsa, OK 74145 • 918 664-8683
Aim High North Tulsa Campus • 5400 Charles Page Blvd, Tulsa, OK 74127 • 918 794-4774