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  • Megann Horstead

Gymnastics class brings ‘American Ninja Warrior’ to Mokena


For anyone who’s watched NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” there’s a Mokena gymnastics training facility with a new class hooking in young boys a cut above the rest, its owner said.

Gym-Kinetics Gymnastics, located at 19220 Ridge Drive, has been home to a class called Ninja Zone Boys for a couple years.

“We were one of the first ones [to introduce the class,]” said Jim Fredrickson, the owner of Gym-Kinetics Gymnastics. “Now, it’s gaining a lot of traction. When we first did it, we only had one or two classes. More recently, it has really evolved into a real, viable program.”

The concept, Fredrickson said, is driven by NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” a reality television/documentary program that is currently in its ninth season.

“People associate what we do with that,” Fredrickson said. “It’s brought down to a young kid level, but it has the same premise. It’s obstacle course type things that we do with the kids. I know when even I was a kid, we used to make obstacle courses in the backyard and run through them. Young boys love do that stuff, and I think that being it was introduced here, word of mouth spread and made it more popular probably than anything.”

The program has about 170 children participating every week.

Not every gymnastics training facility has a class offering of this type.

“More of them are latching onto it because it’s a way to get more boys involved in your facility,” Fredrickson said. “Gymnastics, for boys, isn’t nearly as popular as it is for girls. So, to get more kids in the program and mainly boys, that’s one way of doing that.”

Gymnastics, for young boys, is often difficult, Fredrickson said.

Gym-Kinetics Gymnastics is committed to ensuring that young boys can get the most out of their experience at the facility, Fredrickson said.

“We have all the boys equipment,” Fredrickson said. “We have a boys competitive program. We are the only one in the area. The next nearest program that has a full fledge boys program would be in Downers Grove.”

There are many benefits to enrolling young boys in Ninja Zone Boys, including the aspects of coordination and strength, Fredrickson said.

“Most of our kids that are in our higher level boys programs have been in our program a while are usually the best athletes in whatever else they do,” Fredrickson said.

The facility has a separate boys gymnastics program with about 100 participants every week.

“We have some that migrate from one to the other,” Fredrickson said.

Ninja Zone Boys is currently offered in an 11-week session to young boys ages 4 to 9 years old, with each class being 50 minutes in length. The cost to participate is $166 per child.

For more information about Ninja Zone Boys, visit www.gymkineticsgymnastics.com or call 708-479-6969.

#sports #Mokena

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