Gymnastics? I got them as an assignment for The Town Common.
What do I know about gymnastics? The only time I’ve ever seen them has been on TV especially during the Olympics.
I know that the people involved are small and daring. They clearly do things you would be apprehensive to watch live with lesser skilled people performing.
Anyhow, I got the assignment to cover the accomplishments of the All Around Gymnastics Training Center in Salisbury.
I arranged for an interview on April 3rd. If you know my “sense” of direction, you could easily find a place that is down the street from Salisbury’s Hodgies. Unfortunately, Hodgies opened the day AFTER I did the interview.
This gym was hard to find on a wet late afternoon. There were no outside markings that gave the name away, as far as I could see. The giveaway was the fogged up windows. Picture a school bus on a rainy day.
I entered a place that had an assortment of gymnastic equipment. Outside that area was a windowed room where parents could watch what was going on.
I could see that the participants were almost exclusively elementary school age. There was a lot going on, sort of like a school cafeteria.
The owner, George Teazis, saw me. I knew he was Greek because of his name and because I had talked to him on the phone. I was there to talk to him and to the three boys from that gym who had qualified for the New England Regionals.
Two of the boys were fourth graders and eleven while the other kid was fourteen. The older kid had obviously been lifting a lot as you can see in the picture.
I tried to ask each kid similar questions. One of them was very curious to know what paper the story would go in. I tried to explain that I didn’t work for ESPN.
After the boys, I waited for George and had the chance to see, what could have been, an eight year old go through a floor routine. This little girl did flips and spins as George coached her and was very impressive.
George has been coaching for 34 years and has worked with literally thousands of kid,s I suspect. He was quite demanding of the kids but since he knows what it takes to be a good gymnast he had everyone’s attention. He said that there’s not a lot of fooling around and the kid’s train hard.
George got me to confirm that the story would appear April 15th.
Today I got a call from George updating me on how the three boys had done at the Regionals. That helped me a lot with the story because it gave it closure. Two of the boys had won first place medals in individual events.
I now think, after doing the story, that seeing some of these young gymnasts in action might be a good take.
(I have prepared an article about this training center for The Town Common. When it is posted on their website I will bring it onto this blog.