Natchez Gymnastics introduces agility class for young boys

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 10, 2017

Natchez Gymnastics President Kim Strawbridge had always thought about offering a class focused on young boys, but she didn’t have enough interest to follow through.

That was until she saw the effects it had in her own son, 12-year-old Drew Strawbridge.

“I wanted to do it to help the boys in the community to help them with body control and muscle control,” Strawbridge said. “I watched my son at a football clinic and I saw he was stiff as a board. I had to do something.”

Email newsletter signup

Strawbridge said as the young boys, including her son, grow older and are introduced to more involved sports, she wants them to be comfortable with proper stretching techniques and workouts.

Natchez Gymnastics now has an hour-long class once a week, aimed to help young boys with agility and stamina.

Strawbridge said since the program began this past August, there is an average of 12 to 15 members each week.

“They are always early,” she said. “It is hard, but it is fun and they enjoy it.

“Starting them young when their bones and body are more flexible will allow them to gain so much more control.”

Strawbridge also said she thinks it is important to expand her classes since she thinks there is a barrier between genders.

“We have always offered gymnastics to boys, but some think about it to be just a girls sport,” she said. “The agility and stretching is really just good for them. We did a boys gymnastics class years ago, but it didn’t stick. This one has held tremendously.”

Over the course of a few months, Strawbridge said she has seen the young boys — ages 6 to 12 — improve greatly.

Included in the class are exercises including skill training using sliders and resistance bands.

“I think it’s amazing and really good for the sports program in our community,” she said. “They are all pretty strong, but it’s all about figuring out how to use those muscles.”

The class is scheduled to run through the end of the school year, and Strawbridge said she would love to hold an additional class in the summer.

In the future Strawbridge said she hopes for more equipment to further the impact.

“If we have more interest, we will have more classes,” she said.

In the meantime, Strawbridge said this year’s class still has room to hold a handful more. Anyone interested can contact Strawbridge at 601-597-5038.