WARNER ROBINS -- James Vallin said about 3,000 people helped Precision South Gymnastics Academy celebrate its move to a new facility Saturday.
The 7-year-old gymnastics academy moved from its former location on Constitution Drive with 6,700 square feet of gymnastics floor space to a new 20,000-square-foot gymnastics complex at 1453 Feagin Mill Road with 15,000 square feet of gymnastics floor space.
Vallin and his wife, Keri, own and operate Precision South Gymnastics.
Theres none like it in Middle Georgia and only a few in Atlanta, Vallin said. Now Warner Robins has the ability to take these girls as far as they want to go. Weve always had the athletes and the coaches, and now we have the facility. I hope well see more girls go higher in completion and getting more and more collegiate scholarships.
Miranda Thigpen, a 14-year-old Northside High School student, is one of those hoping one day her dedication to the sport will help her get a scholarship.
Ive been doing gymnastics since I was 5, and all but two years have been at Precision, she said. I guess my ambition is to go to college and do gymnastics on scholarship if my body holds up. I guess I put in about 18 hours a week on gymnastics, and, oh my gosh, this new place is amazing. The equipment is better, and the extra room helps a lot.
Vallin previously said the biggest issue holding gymnasts back has been the lack of space, which meant not being able to schedule needed practice time. He said the new facility changes that.
He said it also opens the door for competitive events to come to Warner Robins.
Weve moved to a new $1 million-plus gymnastics center, but the real investment is back into the families and kids of Warner Robins and Middle Georgia, Vallin said. Tell me the parents of Houston County dont have their kids backs. Tell me theyre not dedicated to their children. Family is big here and sports are big, and thats why we love it here so much.
While James Vallin takes care of business, served as general contractor on the new facility and did a lot of the work himself, Keri Vallin is the coach of the family.
That was reflected in her comments about Saturdays grand opening/customer appreciation event at Precision South Gymnastics.
To me the biggest thing about the day was being able to give our girls exposure to performing in front of crowds, she said. That always helps, and there were a lot of people who came today to have fun and to watch the gymnastic exhibitions we had going on.
Keri Vallin said 80 girls from the academys competition teams performed continuously during the four-hour event. Parents, friends and others watched from the new facilitys mezzanine.
Precision South Gymnastics Academy offers a tumble bug program for younger participants and recreation and competitive gymnastics for older girls and boys. They also offer a cheerleading program with competitive cheerleading. In addition, Precision South Gymnastics operates a fitness-based preschool where 2- to 4-year-olds learn on site and have access to the academys gym.
As for Precision South Gymnastics former Constitution Road location, James Vallin said he plans to convert it into a skate facility in the near future featuring skating, skateboarding and BMX.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at email@example.com.