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These Gymnasts Got A Big Surprise One Year After a Tornado Destroyed Their Gym

SAT, AUG 27

 

As a tornado destroyed their gym , they huddled in the basement and now one year later some gymnasts are getting the surprise of a lifetime.

A new gym is what Aim High Academy gymnasts have been praying for since the tornado flipped their world upside down 16 months ago. Their prayers were answered Wednesday afternoon. NEWSON6 TV

Aim High gets new gymnastics facility

By MICHAEL OVERALL Tulsa World Staff Writer

 

Sixteen months after a tornado destroyed its facility in west Tulsa, Aim High Academy surprised the gym's young athletes by busing them to its new permanent home Wednesday, where the nonprofit will merge with one of the area's most successful and high-profile gymnastics programs.

 

The girls thought they were visiting Tulsa World of Gymnastics to celebrate the business' 40th anniversary — and that was true. It just wasn't the whole truth. Aim High is also buying Tulsa World of Gymnastics and moving into its midtown facility at 7020 E. 38th St.

 

A March 2015 tornado trapped at least 50 young gymnasts in the basement at Aim High's original location in west Tulsa, where firefighters had to remove debris to help the girls escape without injury. The nonprofit program, which seeks to make the sport accessible to all girls regardless of a family's income, has been operating out of borrowed facilities ever since.

 

Earlier this year, Aim High launched a $5.5 million fundraising campaign in hopes of building a new facility in north Tulsa, and businessman Tom Naugle — former CEO of Tulsa Winch — pitched in the first $1 million. But plans changed recently when the Tulsa World of Gymnastics, which has no relation to the newspaper, approached Aim High with an offer to sell.

 

"It's 10 percent bigger," Naugle said, "at a lower cost than the facility we had been thinking about building."

 

Linda Bradshaw, better known around the gym as Mrs. B, wanted to retire but not before finding someone to carry on Tulsa World of Gymnastics' legacy, which goes a lot deeper than sports, she said. Gymnastics teaches discipline, listening, loyalty and teamwork, she said.

The deal with Aim High "didn't just happen," Bradshaw said. "This was choreographed in heaven, I believe."

 

Jennifer Patterson worked at Tulsa World of Gymnastics for nearly 10 years and served as the head coach there before branching out on her own to start Aim High Academy in 2005. She said she will keep a "satellite location" open in north Tulsa and continue raising money to build a new facility there, but the midtown facility, which will be known as Aim High Academy at Tulsa World of Gymnastics, will serve as the program's "central hub." It will continue to operate as a nonprofit, she said.

 

"We're going to be able to serve a lot more families and help a lot more girls," Patterson said. "That's what it's all about."

Tulsa World of Gymnastics and Aim High Academy made the national news on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. Thank you ABC...GREAT STORY!. ABC News

Aim High Academy, which lost its gymnastics facility in a tornado last year, announces that it now has a new facility. The pending retirement of Tulsa World of Gymnastics owner Linda Bradshaw and a large donation of donor Tom Naugle means young gymnasts can continue their craft in the former Tulsa World Gymnastics facility. TULSA WORLD TV

Aim High Gymnast React To News of New Home. TULSA WORLD TV

 

"Aim High Academy combines FITNESS and FAITH to help build bright FUTURES in urban children and youth from the North Tulsa community and beyond."

Aim High Academy Has A New Home 16 Months After Tornado Destroys Gym. KJRH-TV Channel 2

Aim High Main Campus • 7020 E 38th St • Tulsa, OK 74145 • 918 664-8683

Aim High North Tulsa Campus • 3740 E Admiral Pl, Tulsa, OK 74115 • 918 794-4774