Funtastic Gymnastics has been a part of the Manteca community for a number of years, “developing healthy, happy and responsible adults – and making it fun.”
The line in parenthesis is, actually, the core mission of this program which recognizes that gymnastics offers enormous and lifelong impacts on the lives of the young gymnasts who make these physically challenging but fun activities a part of their day-to-day living. It is Funtastic Gymnastics’ belief that these programs build the foundation for “better health, better grades, successful sports participation, and character building,” according to the business’ web site.
Leanne Hayre, who owns and operates the gym with husband Russ, and live in unincorporated San Joaquin County north of Manteca, explained why they chose The Family City to open their business.
“There was no gymnastics gym in Manteca, so that made sense. If we had competition, we probably wouldn’t be there,” Leanne said.
That was 11 years ago when they opened in the north end of the business complex of the former Low’s Market shopping center on North Main and Alameda. The gym is between California Total Fitness and a pizza place.
The other reason that spurred the Hayres to get into this type of business was Russ Hayre’s daughter. She was a gymnast, Leanne said, but she had to quit so she became a coach and a gym owner.
“She was going to sell her gym, so we decided to open one in Manteca. She does help my husband in the tumbling and trampoline classes,” Leanne said.
The gym employs five coaches, and the coach-to-student ratio depends on the age group, she explained. The ratio for the five (years old) and up classes is eight to one; for the three-year-olds, it’s five to one.
Funtastic Gymnastics, which believes in the limitless physical and mental benefits of gymnastics, offers a wide variety of programs specifically designed to fit everyone’s needs. They include classes that are tailored for special needs children.
“The child who has difficulty with every new skill receives just as much attention and benefit as the gymnastic natural. Special needs children to the future Olympiads all have a place at Funtastic Gymnastics,” according to the Funtastic’s official web site.
Programs offered include the following classes for different age levels:
• Fabulous Threes – This 25-minute class incorporates all aspects of gymnastics starting with basic skills such as forward and backward rolls, cartwheels and handstands. Balance, coordination and developing a sense of self-esteem are also taught to the young participants.
• Funtastic Fours – Classes in this age level teach young participants lessons in sharing, taking turns, social interaction, among other skills that the young gymnasts will be able to share at the semi-annual performances. In this class, they learn the basics of tumbling, trampoline, bars, beam, double mini and vault while having the time of their life.
• Superstarters (level one gymnastics) – Open to those five years old and older, this is a basic beginners class of gymnastics with no prior lessons required.
• High Flyers – this is a class that is one notch higher than the superstarters class. To get to this class, the child must be able to “properly perform” all the superstarters’ listed skills.
• Space Rockets – this is described as the “elite class.”
• Cheer tumbling – More and more, cheerleading is being recognized as a sport, and part of that is tumbling.
The above are just a few of the classes offered at Funtastic Gymnastics. For more information, and for further details on costs and class schedules, call (209) 825-5564. Funtastic Gymnastics is located at 447 N. Main Street in Manteca.
— ROSE ALBANO RISSO
209 staff reporter