Open Play & Open Gym Policies
Registration opens the Sunday before each week of Open Play/Open Gym. You must register through our customer portal for the day(s) you wish to attend - there are no drop-ins for these programs because we have a strict number of people that can be in the gym to allow for social distancing.
The schedule for these programs remains the same each week during the major year-round sessions (Winter 1 & 2, Spring, and Fall 1 & 2). Occasionally the schedule will be adjusted for staff training or holidays.
Open Play - $8 per visit
Open Gym - $10 per visit
There is no anniversary fee requirement for people who are only signing up for Open Play / Open Gym.
Open Play (0-5 years)
Participants are required to have an adult with them at all times with access to the Preschool area. We expect adults to be able to maintain distance from other participants and to remain with their child at all times. Refer to our general policies above for information on masks and arrival processes.
Open Gym (5+ years)
Unlike other Open Gym programs you may have been to in the past, our program is structured to allow for social distancing and encourage the safest environment. We've split the gym in 4 distinct areas and everyone will get 15 minutes in each area. There are a lot of benefits to structuring Open Gym this way. It helps us keep low numbers in each area, allows us to sanitize between rotations, gives each child a fair amount of time on all the equipment, and allows certified instructors to assist more effectively. Refer to our general policies above for information on masks and arrival processes.
The Kalamazoo Elite Gymnastics Academy has been a long time coming, and it starts with a 7 year old named Ashley in 1997. Fresh out of a gymnastics-themed birthday party, Ashley took her free trial pass and said, "Mom, this is what I want to do." And the rest is history. With a natural ability and horrible form, Ashley was quickly placed on the team and began competing the compulsory USAG routines. She was awful, went the wrong way sometimes, and almost never pointed her toes, but there was something about this girl that was a true then as it is today: she never ever gave up. Ashley went on to become an optional gymnast, placing 8th at Nationals in Level 9 at age 13. After a series of injuries that would have taken anyone out, Ashley kept going. And when they said she might not be able to do gymnastics anymore, well, that simply wasn't an option.
Ashley went on to compete as a balance beam specialist at Cal State Fullerton 2008-2009 season. She graduated from New York University in 2011 and went on to do various projects, but never strayed far from gymnastics. She taught everyone from age 7 months to 50 years, gaining experience in special needs, recreational, competitive and everything in between. Ashley moved to Kalamazoo in 2015 and found Greater Kalamazoo World of Gymnastics in 2018. After abruptly closing their doors, Ashley took as many kids as she could to run a free outdoor gymnastics program in the summer of 2018. Just when it was looking like there would be no hope of finding another gym, Ashley met the CEO of the YMCA and started her own gymnastics program in the Spring 2019. Of all of her coaching experiences, bringing gymnastics to a community that would ordinarily never get to experience gymnastics has been one of the most rewarding. In less than a year, she has watched her program grow from 20 to 150 kids per session and she couldn't be any prouder of them.
Needless to say, it has been Ashley's dream to own her very own gymnastics facility someday and thus, Kalamazoo Elite Gymnastics Academy was born. KZ Elite was formed in early 2020 with the goal of opening in September 2020 to continue offering quality gymnastics programs to a community that deserves them. We cannot thank the community and our loyal families enough for always believing in this dream, and keeping Coach Ashley sane throughout the process. Stay tuned for updates on the new facility and don't hesitate to reach out with questions or ask how you can get involved. And always remember. . . it's not where you start, it's where you finish!
It's not where you start,
Ashley (age 8) circa 1998 at USGTC Mini Olympics
it's where you finish.
Ashley (age 16) circa 2006 at Level 10 Regionals
OUR MISSION & PHILOSOPHY
At Kalamazoo Elite Gymnastics Academy, our mission is to provide a safe, positive environment for children to learn gymnastics. Our core values are founded on safety, education, and inclusion. We aspire to create a full-service program that prioritizes access to gymnastics for all.
At KEGA, you can rest assured that your child will be exposed to gymnastics in the safest and most positive environment. Your child will never be required to do anything they or you are uncomfortable. We adhere to USA Gymnastics standards for safety, concussion awareness, and certifications. We encourage you to get involved by taking a parent education or engagement class!
Educating parents, coaches and children is one of the most important and unique goals our program has. For a lot of parents, gymnastics is a mystery and your child's ability and skills can quickly surpass your knowledge on the subject. We aim to eliminate the fear of the unknown by teaching you about the sport and what your child is doing. We'll also teach you what is safe to work on at home and what is not.
Historically, gymnastics is a sport reserved for higher income communities or individuals with exceptional talent. At KEGA, we believe that every single child should have a chance to experience the joy of gymnastics. In addition to learning body awareness and cool tricks, gymnastics teaches children to value order, organization, time management, and work ethic. We believe that no child should be barred from this due to their financial circumstances or lack of natural ability. We treat every child as the individual they are with unique needs and goals, and we work with you as a parent to ensure they are getting the best experience. Don't be afraid to talk to us about your situation and needs - we are here to help.