When asked whether an Olympic gymnast had ever hailed from Bundaberg, Tony Hogan’s immediate response is: ‘not yet!’. It’s this kind of forward-thinking positivity that is the driving force behind Gymfinity in East Bundaberg.
Speaking with Tony and his wife Tracy, who are both national gymnastics judges and coaches, it’s easy to see why their business has produced one of Queensland’s fastest-growing clubs in the past 10 years. They have about 20 coaches in their team, including some who are internationally-accredited, who work across a range of programs, designed to suit all ages and abilities. Their classes cover everything from developing basic gross motor skills to competition level gymnastics.
Tony, a teacher at Shalom College, said youth programs like Kindergym, Foundation and NinjaZone were aimed at turning energy into ambition. “NinjaZone combines obstacle training, gymnastics, martial arts, and freestyle movement,” he said. “Having kids involved in fun gym activities at a younger age is going to develop their core strength, their agility, their mobility and their flexibility, which are qualities that are going to be great for any sport they pursue in the future; whether that’s gymnastics or something entirely different. Many gymnasts go on to be very successful aerial skiers, divers, synchronised swimmers, ninja warriors or rock climbers and some have even performed in shows like Cirque de Soleil.”
Tracy, who was a state representative level gymnast for many years, said they started Gymfinity because they were tired of travelling to Hervey Bay several times a week so their two children could train. “It was either move towns, or build our own,” she laughed.
“Coaches in other areas encouraged us to start something here and we are so glad we did. The thing we love about the sport is that it’s about an individual’s pathway, not someone else’s. You may be part of a team, but you can also track your own progression – it’s measurable. We just want all our students to be the best they can be; to reach their own optimal potential.”
As well as providing space for childrens’ birthday parties, Gymfinity deliver programs in childcare centres, kindergartens, and primary schools. “Community outreach is really important to us,” Tracy said. “We want to encourage more kids to be active, enjoy sport and challenge themselves outside their comfort zone. It’s great to see children commit to sport, achieve progression and learn new skills. Gymnastics teaches life lessons and skills, like dedication, discipline and commitment. It’s rewarding to see children grow in confidence while they’re enjoying what they’re doing.”
Give it a go!