April 19, 2012
By Madilyn Newsome | Ranger Reporter
Amarillo College offers the only all-round gymnastics program in Amarillo.
Instruction varies from Mommy and Me recreational classes to Level 10 all-around USAG competitive team classes and adult power tumbling classes.
AC employs 15 instructors who all are CPR, AED and first aid certified. AC offers recreational gymnastics classes for boys and girls, competitive gymnastics Levels 3 and up and non-competitive cheerleading classes for gymnasts ages 3 and up.
It also offers gymnastics for track and field (designed for pole vaulters and jumpers) and home school gymnastics classes.
The Mommy and Me classes are the only classes besides the classes for gymnasts with disabilities that allow the parents to participate alongside their children.
The two classes are guided by an instructor and allow small children and those with disabilities the opportunity to use every piece of equipment that advanced gymnasts use.
Charlotte Modersitzski, supervisor of dance and sports programs, said, “Gymnastics is a sport that gets in your blood that makes you excited to participate in and watch. It is amazing to see a child learn to control their mind and then control their body. These abilities transcend from the gym to the classroom.”
AC gymnastics instructors all have different strengths and personalities to meet the needs of individual children.
The facility, located on AC’s West Campus, has seven balance beams, two vaults, two sets of uneven bars, parallel bars, pommel horse, rings, trampolines, tumble track, rod floor, spring-loaded competition floor, strap bar, mini-bars and lots of developmental gymnastics toys and mats.
Derek Huber, an AC gymnastics instructor, said, “I love the gym for two reasons: The first is the kids that I have the opportunity to teach, and the second is the sport of gymnastics itself. Gymnastics is the perfect combination of power, control, grace, speed and balance. The opportunity to see those kids grow within the sport and seeing the confidence it gives them makes it very worthwhile to be their coach.”
Modersitzski said the children form close bonds of trust and respect with their instructors.
The instructors all are at least 16 years old, and most have participated in or have competed in gymnastics since they were children.
“From experience, I can honestly add that I have come to love my gymnasts as if they were my own kids,” said Allysa Meis, an AC gymnastics instructor. “That is an important part of our gym.
“Our gym differs from others because we don’t just teach our students, we help them grow, be confident and show them that we really do care about their progress.
“We want them to know that we are just as excited when they get a new skill as they are.” AC gymnastics will host its second gymnastics meet this fall, bringing in eight judges from around the state and New Mexico. The teams will range from Lubbock to El Paso, Midland, Abilene, Big Spring and other Texas cities. AC optional gymnasts (Level 7 and up) compete in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.