Young gymnasts thrive at Clovis Academy of Gymnastics

Clovis Academy of Gymastics’ Level 4 boys state champion team. (Photos contributed by Delora Ebell)

For the average person, gymnastics is a sport that comes around every four years.

At the Clovis Academy of Gymnastics, however, gymnastics is an everyday part of life.

The organization has been around for more than 35 years, striving to motivate children to reach their dreams and to help them carry valuable life lessons into the future.

“The discipline that they teach the kids and hard work, sportsmanship is just amazing,” said Delora Ebell, Vice President of the Parent Club at the Clovis Academy of Gymnastics.

Most recently, 12-year-old Abigail Robinson from the Clovis Academy went to regionals and won the vault competition.

The Level 7 girls’ team also enjoyed recent success when it traveled to Georgia and placed seventh, facing some of the best young gymnasts in the country.

Meanwhile, the Clovis Level 4 boys team took the state championship on March 12 in Emeryville in the Bay Area.

Lucas Smith led the boys with a first-place finish in the 9-10-year-old division at the state championships.

The Clovis Academy is based on the USA Junior Olympics program. It’s divided into a recreational program and a competitive team, with the ages ranging from 3-18.

The Academy’s Level 7 girls team after placing 7th at a national competition in Savannah, Georgia. (Photos contributed by Delora Ebell)

“The recreational program starts with preschool children,” said Kimberly Kor, director and head coach at at the Clovis Academy of Gymnastics. “They go up in levels from Level 1 to Level 10. That’s the whole program. Starting at Level 2, if they meet their requirements skill-wise, they get evaluated to be on our competitive team.”

Many of the gymnasts have not only excelled in their sport, but also in the classroom.

“I would say that 99 percent of those girls are straight-A students,” Ebell said. “They’re all really good kids. It’s just a great program. I’m so glad that we did this for our kids. They’re taught discipline, hard work. Sometimes your hard work doesn’t pay off, but you just have to keep working towards it.”

While some stayed involved with gymnastics even as adults, others who go into different fields use gymnastics as a launching pad.

“Clovis Academy has been here for a long time. Lots of young girls have gone through the program and when they get older, they go on to different things,” Ebell said. “They’re so well trained that they excell in all the other sports they do. It’s a great stepping stone.”   

The Clovis Academy is located at 885 Gettysburg Avenue in Clovis. For more information, call (559) 327-3900.   

“Anybody can bring their child whether they had gymnastics experience or not. They start at the beginning level and then we test three times a year for them to move up to the next level,” Kor said. “Some of them end up wanting to be competitive gymnasts.”