MADISON, NJ - The excitement is palpable on Sundays in the crowded hallway leading to the Gymnastics Center at the Madison Area YMCA. The reason? Y Ninja Gym is here. And it’s a hit.
Starting at 12 p.m. in four hourly classes, more than 80 kids between the ages of 5 and 14 tumble, jump, climb, swing, test their stamina, build their strength and challenge their minds as they weave and bob through obstacle courses. During the spring session, Y Ninja Gym will be offered to 3 and 4-year-olds.
“No marketing is needed for Y Ninja Gym,” exclaims Antoinette Walsh whose 7-year-old son, Thomas, is in the 1 p.m. class. “He loves it—absolutely loves it. He can’t wait to get here on Sundays.” Mrs. Walsh is particularly excited that Y Ninja Gym extends the opportunity for boys to stay in gymnastics. “It lets boys gain strength and balance in a fun obstacle course kind of way that’s not girlie and not competitive,” she says, adding that she is impressed with the Y’s investment of equipment in the program.
But have no fear—lots of girls are here. “I love Ninja Gym,” says 8-year-old Grace Alcorn, after finishing a tumble and grabbing a ring suspended from the ceiling. “I love climbing the rope.”
“The kids love the obstacle courses,” says Madison Area YMCA Gymnastics Director Ellen Gavin. “They have fun building strength and agility while developing self-confidence, teamwork and discipline,” she says, noting that coaches are fully trained on technical skill, equipment and safety according to guidelines set forth by the YMCA and USA Gym.
Y Ninja Gym is a structured training program that is based on obstacle course training methodology that includes: strength and conditioning drills, specialty skill development (flips, rolls, jumps and kicks), tumbling, martial arts skills and mindfulness/meditation practices. The program is specifically designed to build coordination, motor control, conditioning, proprioception, body awareness, spatial awareness, agility and physical strength while developing self-confidence, teamwork and discipline.
The Y offers Y Ninja Gym-themed parties throughout the year and Y Ninja summer camps.
For more information about Y Ninja Gym, please contact Madison Area YMCA Gymnastics Director Ellen Gavin at 973.822.9622 x2240.
The Madison Area YMCA is a 501c3 cause-driven charitable organization dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.