MAG Help with NPR story on the challenges of boys' gymnastics?

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Men's Artistic Gymnastics

laurel

Proud Parent
Hello! I'm a reporter at NPR (National Public Radio), and I'm working on a story about how much harder it is to find gyms for boys' gymnastics, and how men's gymnastics doesn't get as much attention, etc.

I'm a former gymnast myself, and the gym where I went certainly didn't have any offerings for boys.

I've read some helpful threads on this forum already on this topic -- from parents struggling to find a gym for their boys, or who are are frustrated by the lack of offerings besides ninja classes, as well as from coaches explaining the reasons behind the limited boys' programs.

If any of these are you, get in touch! I would reach out to you but I don't see a way to do so. Please drop me an email at [email protected] with your situation and how to contact you. I'd also love to hear from the boys themselves, if they have struggled to stay in the sport. Thanks for considering!
 
My daughter's first gym has a pretty robust boys program. After interacting with more and more gyms I've seen how rare that is though. Always wondered why. Will be interested to read your story!
 
“Our Flipping Boys” is a very active men’s gymnastics parent/coach Facebook group where people often discuss these issues. I recommend posting there.
 
I'm working on a story about how much harder it is to find gyms for boys' gymnastics

I don't know if it's really hard to find... just might be further away. If you are not in a major city... then the drive to a gym with a men's program could be sizable.
 
I have a daughter and a son in competitive gymnastics. As with all gyms, not all gyms are created equal and there’s a reason why certain gyms score & get kids to college. My son started at a gym that was next door to my Level 10/jr elite daughters gym, it was okay at the beginning, but pretty clear when he got to level 5/6 the coach/owner didn’t know enough gymnastics. If I’m paying $500/month I want to know the coaches can adequately coach and I saw it before other parents (who left the gym) because I was a gymnast, a coach and have high level daughter. So we moved to our only other option an hour away. We carpool, but that’s 5-days a week, 4-hour practice that myself or another parent have to essentially hang out while they practice. So if you did want to sign your 5-year old son up for a class and the gym is 45-minutes away for an hour class, are you really going to move forward, probably not. I have lots of thoughts and would love to chat more
 
I'll be the first to say... we don't have a men's program anymore at our club. It just worked out that way. I was the men's coach... but my first two kids were girls... so I ended up cancelling the boys program and becoming the girls head coach.

My son now goes to the club next door that has the premium boys program in the state.

The two biggest issues are "lack of coaches" and "finances". These two things go hand in hand. We had about 40 boys in our recreational classes and 14 on team when I cancelled it and changed over to ninja. Within two months we had over 160 boys in the gym. If we had 160 recreational gymnastics boys in the gym... then it would be easy to pay a high level team coach. Ninja also takes up less space than a boys team program.

At this point... it just doesn't make sense for us to start up a men's program again... we just send the boys that really want to do it to the club next door as they run a great program.
 
Hello! I'm a reporter at NPR (National Public Radio), and I'm working on a story about how much harder it is to find gyms for boys' gymnastics, and how men's gymnastics doesn't get as much attention, etc.

I'm a former gymnast myself, and the gym where I went certainly didn't have any offerings for boys.

I've read some helpful threads on this forum already on this topic -- from parents struggling to find a gym for their boys, or who are are frustrated by the lack of offerings besides ninja classes, as well as from coaches explaining the reasons behind the limited boys' programs.

If any of these are you, get in touch! I would reach out to you but I don't see a way to do so. Please drop me an email at [email protected] with your situation and how to contact you. I'd also love to hear from the boys themselves, if they have struggled to stay in the sport. Thanks for considering!
Hi Laurel, I reached out to you via email last night. I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. Have a great week! Thanks!
 

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