Randomly ask someone to name a summer Olympic sport. There’s a really good chance the sport they come up with will be gymnastics. As one of the most popular sports of the Olympic games, gymnastics combines incredible physical strength with flexibility, agility, coordination, balance and elegance. It also takes an immense amount of self-discipline and determination and Santa Clara just happens to be home to Airborne Gymnastics, one of the most reputable gyms in the Bay Area and the training facility of one of the most successful competitive team programs.
About two years ago Airborne Gymnastics owners, sisters Melanie Ruggiero and Leah Parker, moved the facility’s location from Martin Avenue to a giant 25,000 square foot location on Walsh Avenue. The state-of-the-art gym features large foam pits, trampolines and plenty of the standard equipment like balance beams and uneven bars that one would expect in a facility focused on the sport of gymnastics. The two-story gym also has two rooms used for birthday parties, a dance and martial arts studio, and a large viewing area for parents.
“We’ve taken pride in providing a place that was as kid-friendly as we could make it,” said Ruggiero. “We strive to keep it as clean as we possibly can.”
From the moment a child crawls, they are able to take classes at Airborne. Yet the facility is still immaculate. Hundreds of children walk through the doors of Airborne each week for classes or parties. “We’ve put together a good program,” said Ruggiero. “The equipment gets set up every week so when you come in everything is already set up.” The children work on different skills each week. One week the focus might be on floor exercises and the following week the skill could be vault. But regardless of the discipline, the facility remains “functional for kids of all ages and all levels,” said Parker.
Classes at Airborne are broken down by age groups starting with the Diaper Dyno Class catering to children who have started crawling through 2 years old. From there children go to the Mini Mights, Dyna Mights and Dynamos, which will take a child through the age of 7. Boys and girls are then separated and start training on more of the traditional gymnastics apparatuses. Airborne also has a Developmental Program designed to prepare young gymnasts for a competitive level of gymnastics. Girls who have gone through Airborne’s developmental or team programs have received scholarships to some of the top gymnastics universities in the country like UCLA, Nebraska and Oregon State.
Among some of the traits gymnasts learn are “self-discipline, to set and achieve goals, time management – probably better than most adults, and how to perform in front of a crowd,” said Ruggiero. And to help those training at Airborne develop those skills, the facility employs “five of the most outstanding program managers” along with 25 full and part time employees who all are committed to the success and enjoyment of the clients.
According to the Airborne Gymnastics website the “program is designed to encourage fitness, self-confidence, and coordination while having FUN!!” With classes for both children and adults, a fitness studio for Zumba classes and karate instruction, and custom birthday parties described by Ruggiero as “insane in a good way,” Airborne Gymnastics is not only one of the premiere training facilities for elite gymnasts, but a place that provides fun for the whole family.
Airborne Gymnastics is at 1515 Walsh Avenue in Santa Clara. Additional information on Airborne including information about the various programs and events can be found at www.airborne-gymnastics.com.