Today we’d like to introduce you to John King.
Hi John, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is John King, Owner of Flytz Gymnastics, Inc. I am a graduate of Kent State University. While attending college in Kent, Ohio, I took a position managing a gymnastics facility operated by the YWCA. After several years of growth, I purchased the gymnastics program from the YWCA. Flytz Gymnastics (pronounced flights) incorporated in 1995 and was originally located in Kent, Ohio. I moved my business from Kent, Ohio to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio in 1999. The move was necessary as our previous building was too small at only 10,000 square feet. Our current facility is one of the largest in the country at over 43,000 square feet and houses an extensive amount of gymnastics equipment. In 2006, my wife, Stacey King became a co-owner and Office manager for our business.
We are a USA Gymnastics member club offering recreational classes to boys and girls ages 18 months to 18 years of age. We provide training on all four women’s events; vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise. For those students simply interested in working on their tumbling skills, we offer separate Tumbling Classes, as well as, Open Gym times. Due to the large size of our building, we are able to provide preschool gymnastics in its own separate space within the building. In fact, our preschool gym is nearly 5,000 square feet. Preschool classes start with our “Fledgling class” or, aka mommy and me classes for our 18 months to 3-year-old students. We continue our class listing with “Flapper classes” for our 3-year-old students and, “Flaming classes” for 4-year-old students. At age 5, students move to the “big” gym where they start in our “Kindergarten class.” We also offer competitive women’s gymnastics to girls ages 6-18 years. We compete locally and nationally while traveling to all parts of the country. This season we will have around 90 team gymnasts competing for Flytz Gymnastics. These girls train anywhere from 9 to 20 hours per week, year-round. The competition “season” begins in November at our own in-house competition, the Fly Right Invitational, and will end sometime in April or May. The gymnasts will compete in various skill levels from beginner to advanced levels of difficulty. At the highest skill level in the USA Gymnastics Jr, Olympic Program, level 10, we plan on competing 8 athletes this season. This is an impressive group of talented young athletes with very high expectations. Many, if not all of these athletes plan to continue their gymnastics at the collegiate level as they plan for their future after private club gymnastics.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Flytz Gymnastics has continued to be successful both financially and in accomplishing our goals as gymnastics club. Our main goals include; 1. Ensuring that we are promoting the values and standards of our Mission Statement while providing a healthy, safe, and enriching environment to boys and girls of all ages. And 2. We strive to offer competitive gymnastics with very high goals and standards as we develop athletes and teams that are successful while achieving rewards and life skills. This path since 1995 has been smooth with very few problems. However, not unlike most businesses across our country, the Pandemic of 2000 was a very difficult time. In fact, our business was forced to close for three full months due to COVID. Luckily, our families were very supportive and eager to return to Flytz Gymnastics. Once returning to business operations, we found that it was very difficult to abide by all of the COVID policies and restrictions necessary to keep our students and families safe. In fact, I would say the whole experience was life-changing as not only did it change how gym programming was operated, we also needed to rely on our government for financial resources and assistance. Additionally, many of our gymnastics competitions were cancelled and any/all travel was limited.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
We have one of the best high-level USA Gymnastics competitive programs in the State of Ohio.
The staff at Flytz Gymnastics are highly trained and provide excellent teaching skills to our recreational classes, as well as, to our team program. They regularly participate in educational and safety courses offered through USA Gymnastics.
We offer two in-house competitions each season. The Fly Right Invite in November, and our Spring Fling Invite in March. These events are attended by hundreds of athletes from across Ohio.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I was very lucky to meet my wife, Stacey King. She has been very instrumental in helping with the growth and development of Flytz Gymnastics.
- Classes are offered by 6-week sessions
- Team tryouts are in the Spring each year
- Website: www.flytz.com