Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 |
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PUHI — Jack and Kay Leonard of Kauai Gymnastics Academy are inviting people to come and experience the power of the academy’s gymnastics students at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kukui Grove Center.
The free annual exhibition in the food court area will showcase the achievements of three main groups at Kauai Gymnastics — the Iki Hui, or small team, the Hoku Hui, or star team, and the Kula Hui, or gold team, the highest level performers.
More than 40 gymnasts will tumble, flip, cartwheel and pull surprises on the Air4Tumble floor, a special 6.5 by 32-foot air-filled tumble track manufactured in Sweden with only a handful of them located West of the Mississippi River, Kay Leonard said in a release.
Since opening in 2005, Jack, who came from Hill’s Gymnastics Training Center in Gaithersburg, Md., said the Kauai Gymnastics Academy now sports class sizes of about 300 students.
“It’s constant evolution,” Jack said. “During the summer, we can have up to 50 students who do club gymnastics on the Mainland working out here. That is a real shot to our local students, who get to work with students who practice constantly.”
Jack noted that during the first exhibition performance they were lucky if they had more than two or three performers in the Kula Hui.
“Sunday we’ll have 21 students performing in the Kula Hui,” Jack said. “That is more students than all the students who came out for our first performance.”
Kaisa Ishikawa, a student at Kauai High School, will be among the Kula Hui performers. Her strength and power was clear as she led the group through practice at the Puhi facility Monday.
“Kaisa has been with us for eight years,” Jack said. “She is a cheerleader with Kauai High School, and also will be on the mat with the school’s wrestling team.”
The gymnastics coach said when they first arrived on Kauai, they discovered that as a community, sports were uniquely different, with athletes having a lot of unique needs that gymnastics is able to provide.
“We have students who have a variety of talents,” Jack said. “They come to the gym with no background, but work to get flexible and become strong in body and spirit. That was Kaisa. Now, she shines.”
Jack said over the years, Kauai Gymnastics Academy works with all people, the academy now providing all-men classes.
“In addition to the Winter Session, we offer drop-in, one-day, one-fee programs as well,” Jack said.
Kay said Kauai Gymnastics Academy students range from 6 to 16 years old and work out from three to seven hours a week, depending on their level.
Kay said registration is being taken for the Kauai Gymnastics Academy’s winter session Jan. 3.
The Kauai Gymnastics Academy is located in a much larger space in the Puhi Industrial Park where the Air4Tumble floor sits atop a 42 by 42-foot spring floor system. Other equipment includes many different sizes and types of beams, a TrampTrak with a 10 by 10-foot bed, two sets of bars, four different sizes of back handspring trainers, including the latest back handspring trainer, The Boulder Handspring Trainer.
Visit www.kauaigymnastics.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 245-8863 for more information.
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