Parents of budding gymnasts can tell you the biggest investment they and their children make is time: Children in gymnastics programs can spend anywhere from an hour per week for children in recreational programs to 18 hours for those on the Junior …
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Parents of budding gymnasts can tell you the biggest investment they and their children make is time: Children in gymnastics programs can spend anywhere from an hour per week for children in recreational programs to 18 hours for those on the Junior Olympic track.
It's demanding for children. And it can be challenging for parents to spend so much time at the gym.
Shannon Fox, one of six owners of Momentum Athletic Center in Parker, said she and the other owners had that in mind when they came up with the idea for their new gym, Momentum Athletic Center, which opened in June.
“It was super-important for us that it was like a `second-home' environment,” Fox said. “We really wanted to think about the parents. We thought if we could hire the right coaches and the right staff that would take care of the business side of things, but we wanted to make a comfortable place for parents to spend multiple hours a week.”
Addressing the “business side,” the center's first hire was their director of operations, Michael Monti. Monti has been coaching gymnastics for 25 years and won the United States Gymnastics Association's Compulsory Coach of the Year Award in 2015.
“I really enjoy developing the mental side of the program, a program that gets them physically, mentally and psychologically ready to compete at 7 years old,” Monti said.
Hannah Bower, a three-time state champion and a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, leads the girls' teams at Momentum, and Brian Spies, a competitive gymnast until he turned 12, directs the recreational program.
Response has been “overwhelming,” according to Monti.
The center enrolled its first 50 families before its opening, practicing in parks in the area until the building was ready. Momentum has between 180 and 190 students as of August, but the goal is to reach 700.
The facility offers two team programs for competitive gymnasts, the USAG Team and the XCEL Team, but there are a host of recreational classes for children, and even some for parents to take with their children.
“All of our programs are equal in our eyes,” Monti said.
Considering that Momentum was created by three families with children in competitive programs and with the buzz about the Olympic Games in Rio, it raises the question of whether the gym's founders hope to see a former student on an Olympic podium one day.
“No,” said co-owner Kevin Warr, with a smile.
“We don't have any delusions that we're going to create an Olympic athlete here,” he said. “But what we do want is for every child to achieve their personal capability.”
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