Erin Lester was tired of having to take her children down below for gymnastics classes on dark snowy winter evenings. She decided to start a gymnastics program in our mountain community. Ned Gymmies was started in January of 2020, right before the COVID pandemic hit us all. The program was able to restart last fall and has been well attended. This past weekend, the Foxes (ages three to four) were actually split into two groups as the enrollment grew!
Ned Gymmies offers classes for ages one through ten years of age. It is exciting that they work with the youngest children, ages one and two, as there is a lack of programs here in the Peak to Peak for this age range. The Bunny class of ages one and two is a parent-child class.
Older children are enrolled in Foxes, Mountain Lions or Deer classes. The partnership with Teens, Inc. allows the program to utilize the wonderful facility, including the foam pit – one of the kids’ favorites – and offer this gymnastics program. A variety of apparatus is available such as floor, beam, and bars (and of course the pit!)
Each of the five gymnastics coaches is local and Lester says she totally loves each and every one of them!
The program is different from others because they have classes for children under five and fill this niche. The classes are session-based, lasting four to eight weeks. This allows families to join when the cost and timing work for them. A progressive curriculum adds variety and room for growth within each session.
Lester says that she loves creating fun experiences for children to be active and grow to love movement. “Teaching children to move is so important with our increasingly sedentary modern lifestyle. I just love seeing the joy in children’s faces as they flip upside down, catch a ball, roll across the floor (or into the pit), or swing on the pit swing,” she says.
Growing up in a small town in Canada gave Lester the foundation of small town life and a recognition of what types of activities are important for a community. When Lester was very young, her mother along with a group of local parents started the Caledonia Gym Club, a recreational gymnastics club for young children run at a local school gymnasium in her hometown. So she is following in her mother’s footsteps.
The coaches for the Gymmies have years of gymnastics’ experience. Teagan Blakely is the head coach and has coached at North Boulder Rec Center for years. She is currently a coach for a North Boulder Rec Center’s Elite team and trains the Gymmies staff as well.
Ned Gymmies plans to continue gymnastics classes during the school year and to add classes in other movement modalities as well, to include natural movement and capoeira. They currently have three more weeks of a six-week session and have just opened up registration for the four-week mini-session in May that runs until summer break begins.
Ned Gymmies takes place at Teens, Inc., located at 151 East Street, Nederland. Find more information on their website at nedgymmies.com where you can sign up for their newsletter and register for classes. You can also email Erin Lester at email@example.com.
Sponsored by the Town of Nederland, with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.