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Youth gymnastics: Twisting-n-tumbling without leaving town

On Sept. 13 Farmington Community Education will begin a seven-week gymnastics program called Twist-N-Tumble Gymnastics for youth ages 2 and up.

The program will be led by Farmington High School gymnastics coach Lynn Bauman, who was a state champion for the Tigers in 1991 and a four-year state placewinner. Bauman has been teaching gymnastics in Farmington for over 18 years and is a member of the Farmington Athletic Hall of Fame.

Twist-N-Tumble Gymnastics - which will be held at the Instructional Services Center (former Kindergarten Center) at 510 Walnut Street will offer daytime, evening and Saturday morning classes. Toddler, Pre-school, Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced classes will be available.

The program will host open houses today (Thursday) from 10 a.m. to noon and from 6-8 p.m. at the Instructional Services Center.

How did this new gymnastics program come to be?

I talked to community education, met with them and they were interested in what I presented. I think it was just asking the right person. I've been trying ever since I got in to coaching to have have a permanent spot to start doing gymnastics for kids ages 2 and up. I ran a park and rec program three years ago, but that was only for four weeks in the winter and parents wondered why it wasn't all year. They didn't have the facilities to do it all the time and people started going elsewhere.

What are some of the physical benefits for kids that start gymnastics at a young age?

I think it's a good balance. It helps with hand-eye coordination and provides great strengthening and is a great starter for any kid who wants to move on to be a gymnast or play any other sport. For boys, wrestling, hockey and football take a lot of strength and coordination and flexibility and it helps girls with other sports, too.

Do you expect this exposure to gymnastics to also help your high school program down the line?

The high school program has already grown tremendously and gotten better. Learning the basics and the correct techniques should help some of the kids who have the talent, but weren't involved in any programs and were learning backyard gymnastics. When you get to them younger, you can learn things a lot easier and better. But we want to make it fun, we don't want it to be a chore for them to learn gymnastics. We want them to have fun learning it, too.

Who will be joining you on the Twist-N-Tumble Gymnastics staff?

Beth Moore, my high school assistant, two (Farmington) seniors Terra Klima (sixth at state in bars) and Erin Hickey (state track qualifier) and Kelsie Long, who is a senior from Apple Valley who was also a state gymnastics qualifier. New high school assistant Nick Tews will also be around to help out.

I was kind of picky about who to have do it. I wanted to get the program off on the right foot and have the right attitude in the gym. I'm excited about the group that's going to start with me.

You've been a part of gymnastics in Farmington for a while now. How rewarding is it for you to see it growing in the community?

I'm very proud, very excited to see it grow in Farmington. We've never really had much of a gymnastics program here and I've always wanted it here. Growing up I'd have to travel 30 to 45 minutes to have my training. It will be nice for the younger now to grow up with it like I didn't get to. (laughs)