April 1, 2016 By Christian Murray
Two former gymnasts have started a program in Sunnyside that will bring gymnastics classes to young kids in the neighborhood starting next week.
James Finn and Eric Parker will run the program in the basement of the Sunnyside Reformed Church, located on the corner of 48th Street and Skillman Avenue.
They are offering classes for 3- to 5-year-olds and 6- to 9-year-olds. The classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the younger children and 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. for the older kids.
The programs will cost between $16 and $20 per class.
Students will learn how to use most of the gymnastics equipment, such as the beam, and will practice exercises including cartwheels and handstands.
Finn said the pair wanted to start their program in either Queens or Brooklyn, where they believe there is a lack of gymnastics classes.
Finn, who lives in Astoria, said that they reached out to Pastor Neil Margetson for space, who offered them the ground-floor room. He said they have gotten to know many Sunnysiders given the church’s deep ties to the community.
Parker, who resides in Manhattan, said that 28 children have registered, with 12 students in the younger age group and 16 in the older.
The instructors have both been teaching gymnastics for various non-profit organizations for some time and this is their first venture alone. They met each other as instructors at the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation in Harlem and decided to join forces and start a business devoted to gymnastics.
They have named their new company NYC Gymnastics Movement and plan to stay in Sunnyside for the long haul.
Finn said that they have both collected and bought equipment while working at various facilities. He said that they are fortunate that the church has enough space for them to store all of their equipment.
More information on the program is available online here.