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River Heights entrepreneurs open unique children’s gym
Two River Heights women are bringing a unique children’s fitness centre to Winnipeg.
Tamara Simon discovered My Gym after taking her children to one of the franchise’s locations in Florida while her family was living there and was impressed by what she saw.
After moving back to Winnipeg several years ago, the stay-at-home mom of three realized there was a lack of daytime children’s programs, and decided to open a My Gym fitness centre of her very own.
"I knew that as a stay-at-home-mom there wasn’t a whole lot of...activities to do with your children, especially when it’s cold out. I had been thinking about (starting a children’s program) for a while and had dabbled in a few ideas, and just thought this would be great because we really loved the program," she said.
Simon purchased a franchise in spring of last year after approaching her friend-turned-business partner Jaime Green. Now the entrepreneurs are finally seeing their dream of opening a children’s fitness centre become a reality.
The facility held its grand opening Sept. 21 and will continue the festivities throughout the coming weekend.
"People are so excited. We can’t wait to offer (our programs) to the public," Green said.
My Gym is a non-competitive gymnastics-based program for children between the ages of six months and 13 years. Simon said it combines elements of gymnastics and other sports, and helps kids build self-confidence, gross motor skills and social skills.
"There are years of research that have gone into (the program). The equipment and all the stuff that’s involved (in it) is really thought out," Simon said, adding the program’s motto is "fitness made fun."
She said some of the equipment the centre incorporates into programming is a zip-line, a rock climbing wall, trampolines, a ball pit and more.
"What makes us really unique is all the equipment used changes every week," Simon said.
She said each Monday the staff breaks down the layout of the gym and rebuilds it with new equipment.
On top of that, Simon said the program’s curriculum changes with each session.
"The curriculum only repeats every three years. You might see certain elements repeated, but you won’t see the exact same class offered again in your age group," she said.
Each of the classes at My Gym are conducted by two teachers, who have all undergone intensive training. Additionally, most of the instructors have a fitness or education background, and experience working with children, Simon added.
The partners had hoped to open the gym sooner, but spent the last year trying to find the best possible location for the centre.
"I fought for this space for a year," Simon said of the gym’s 2020 Corydon Ave. location.
"Being residents of this area, there is definitely a lack of (children’s) activities right here. You either have to go down towards Linden Woods or Charleswood or downtown. There’s nothing specifically in this area."
The gym will hold an open house this coming weekend from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
For more information on My Gym or to see a list of programs the centre offers go to mygym.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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