For Champion Gymnastics owner Launie Aben, gymnastics is more than just a head-to-toe workout. It’s also about developing life skills like respect and working through fear. “Our gym’s motto is building a family of champions,” says Aben. “But being a champion isn’t just about winning. Here, it’s about building moral character and self confidence.”
Aben started coaching shortly after enrolling her own daughter in gymnastics at 3 1/2 years old. An athlete herself, she always loved the determination that gymnasts brought to the sport. When she saw the physical and mental benefits that gymnastics had for her daughter, she decided to open the gym. Now, 17 years later, the gym serves youth from Ann Arbor, Saline, Dexter, Ypsilanti, and even Jackson. “I love my job,” says Aben. “I love my staff and the kids. I really think my staff feels like family.”
Range of goals
The gym’s programs are for children as early as 18 months old and go until 18 years old. For parents looking to sign up their child, they can pre-register before officially enrolling. Once enrolled youth are placed as beginning, intermediate or advanced, and as a child progresses the staff evaluates to determine when the child should move up a level. Once children reach a certain level, they can participate in annual spring tryouts to join a traveling competitive team. Some of the children even have dreams of receiving collegiate scholarships for gymnastics.
The gym also offers programs for birthday parties, field trips, and open toddler time. Giving toddlers more “tummy time” is important to building coordination and learning how to be mobile. At the gym toddlers are learning to sit, crawl, and lift themselves up from their bellies. Of course, safety is a priority at Champion Gymnastics and staff are continually advancing their knowledge in safe training through continuing education. The staff are all experienced gymnasts and have Safe Sport certifications. Some are even CPR certified.
With so much happening at the gym daily, Aben doesn’t seem to stress the small stuff. She’s focused on the outcomes. “The sport is so mental,” says Aben. “I love this job because everyday I see our athletes succeeding. We help them work hard and overcome their fears.”
For more information about Champion Gymnastics
Call 734-222-1810 for pricing and enrollment
The gym is located at 7240 Jackson Road,