Giggling children tumble into pits filled with foam cubes, bounce on trampolines, swing on ropes, or roll around mats shape like doughnuts and cheese wedges. Across the room, older kids twirl, flip, and pace on Olympic-grade bars and balance beams. When designing Cartwheels Inc., founders Katherine Campbell and Lisa Lacamell wanted to provide a space for recreational gymnastics and cheerleading training as well as a place for children to have fun. They employed expertise from a lifetime of gymnastics training, with each serving as the national course conductor for Gymnastics Canada and board director for Gymnastics BC. They hold their staff––many of whom come from yoga, dance, and fitness backgrounds, and all of whom have either gymnastics or cheerleading experience––to high standards: each holds at least a level-one NCCP certification, child-safety-focused Respect in Sport certification, and first-aid certification. Cartwheels Inc's instructors coach children as young as 18 months in classes taught to the standards of the National Coaching Certification Program, giving them stylish ways to climb into bunk beds. Beyond tumbling and gymnastics classes, girls also combine gymnastics, dance, and stunting formations to hone cheerleading skills in recreational and competitive all-star cheerleading programs. In the summer, gym staffers lead day camps that combine gymnastics and arts-and-crafts instruction with off-site field trips, allowing children to visit water parks or meet the man who invented water. Recognizing that their gym spaces can also serve as a playground, Katherine and Lisa also organize birthday parties and kids'-night-out events to host hours of unstructured play.
The waters of False Creek reach into the city of Vancouver like an arm. For years, the passage of water was used for industrial purposes, but all that changed in 1980 when the city of Vancouver decided to develop Granville Island. One of those developments was False Creek Community Centre.
Today, the centre fills False Creek with an array of recreational boaters, including kayakers, canoeists, dragon boaters, and whale surfers. Back on land, the facility boasts a pottery studio, a fitness centre, tennis courts, a water park with a large kid's area, and a talented staff of instructors who teach programs and classes for kids and adults alike.
Rory and Sara Kerrigan both have backgrounds in competitive gymnastics—Sara even represented Canada at the 1991 World Championships. Today, the two have a 3-year-old son and are focused on helping kids like him develop mentally and physically through the sport. Within Kerrigan Gymnastics Academy's 10,000-square-foot facility, their staff aims to foster a lasting love for physical activity through age-appropriate classes. For the youngest students, classes focus on developing confidence and coordination while older kids learn to tumble, vault, and fly across the uneven bars. Parents are always welcome to observe in the spectator area, complete with a TV and WiFi access that lets them connect to work or hack the International Space Station while their kids are in class. :m]]