The Vision for Peoria Elite Gymnastics Academy began by looking back at the impact that gymnastics made on one girl’s life. Her story and the changes that occurred in her life because of gymnastics brought about the decision to take a risk and offer a similar experience to as many kids as possible in the Peoria area.
Gymnastics provides so much for a child’s early physical and mental development. In addition to the obvious physical advantages like strength, flexibility, and balance; parents frequently comment on the mental development they see in their kids from gymnastics! For instance, they begin to see their child develop confidence, discipline and time management. Gymnastics is also a significant foundational sport that not only develops great gymnasts, but can be the foundation for young athletes to excel in many other sports as well. Some of the most common sports gymnasts excel are diving, track (sprinting & pole vaulting), tumbling, cheerleading, soccer (especially goalie), cross-fit, and of course most of the best competitors in the fun sport of American Ninja Warrior have a strong gymnastics background.
The story of the young girl that began the dream of opening Peoria Elite began in 2006. This child experienced challenges in reading and significant separation anxiety in her early elementary years. Her mother put her in a gymnastics class as an activity to experience. Little did the parents know, that gymnastics would be a life changer for their child and them as well. Because of the confidence that she was gaining in gymnastics, this transferred to her reading and anxiety as well. It was not an over-night transition, but the difference in the young girl could be seen by teachers, friends, and family. She gained all the positive impacts listed in the paragraph above.
Starting a premium gymnastics facility in Peoria was our Vision of creating this kind of opportunity for as many kids as possible, whether their desire is to learn the basics to help with another sport, as an activity to just get exercise, or for the possibility to compete at the highest level in gymnastics.
Creating an Elite gymnastics facility is a challenging and expensive endeavor. One of the key things we felt was missing in Peoria was the combination of the right facility 20’ ceiling height available along with a willingness to invest in the latest and safest equipment available. Peoria Elite spared no expense when we invested in the facility and equipment. The biggest reason was for safety and injury prevention of every student, but it also gives our competitive gymnasts an advantage at bigger competitions as they will be using the same equipment that they practice on. The “feel” of the equipment will be very similar and therefore allow our gymnasts to focus on their routine versus worrying about the equipment.
For example, there are many types of gymnastics floors ranging from the type of spring board to the type of foam. Typical floors are basic plywood or upgraded to birch plywood. The best floors, similar to those used in the Olympics, are a specially made white composite material that offers more energy absorption and energy return to the gymnast. Layered on top of the expensive spring board is a very expensive triple thick specialized foam that also maximizes energy absorption and energy return to the gymnast. Huge benefits have been found with this new type of floor to help prevent repetitive stress types of injuries to ankles, knees, hips, and lower backs along with wrists, elbows, and shoulders…all used in tumbling. This is one example of the investment made at Elite. Other examples include the top grade bars, high end beams, and significant investment in a large pit structure to create the channel bars, in ground trampolines, and a huge foam pit. Most people look at the pit and see a fun place to jump. Gymnasts look at a big foam pit as the safest place to learn throwing big new skills of the bars and vault into the pit.
The desire at Peoria Elite is to give each and every child the chance to gain confidence, skills, and strength in a safe and encouraging environment. We feel that we offer the best of the teaching features and facility features to enhance your child’s life both today and in the future.