Local gymnastics company hosts first camp during MLKJ Day

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Heart of Tennessee Gymnastics in Elizabethton held their first camp Monday, using the federal holiday as a way to introduce a different kind of sport to children.

Instructor Gabriel Chandler said this was the company’s first camp.

“It connects with kids, gives them something to do,” Chandler said.

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Participants got to enjoy the various pieces of equipment Heart of Gymnastics has to offer, including a swinging rope, swinging bars and other parkour exercises.

Chandler said the camp is a chance to spread awareness about what they provide as a business, as well as give participants a chance to try something new and interesting they might not have heard of before.

“We wanted to have an opportunity to show how fun this really is,” he said. “I hope in the future this place continually grows.”

Parkour as a sport, he said, is something people do not often think about. In spite of that, he said they have some students who are competing around the world.

He said offering it as a curriculum at Heart of Tennessee is great.

“It is a pleasure to see kids’ faces light up,” Chandler said.

Throughout the day, participants also got to play games and do other activities as time allowed, the main focus being having fun.

Chandler said the turn-out was impressive for their first time.

“It shows maybe, in the future, this could be a lot more,” he said. “I feel like it will grow. We are hoping to spread.”

This growth has also come in the recent collaboration with American Ninja Warrior Grant McCartney. Chandler said the gymnastics company is continuously looking for ways to raise awareness about parkour and the level of physical fitness it can provide.

Parkour is not just running across things like on TV. It requires a high level of physical fitness and training just to compete, let alone succeed in the challenges, and there are regional, state and national competitions all the time.

“This is a really fun sport,” he said.

Those interested in what Heart of Gymnastics has to offer can visit them at 300 Cherokee Park Drive in Elizabethton.