Located in the upper story at 302 1/2 North Main, a new gymnastics school resides in a space that, in a previous time, served as home to an Oddfellows lodge.
Located in the upper story at 302 1/2 North Main, a new gymnastics school resides in a space that, in a previous time, served as home to an Oddfellows lodge. The hardwood flooring, antique ceiling tiles and even some artwork of that period remains on its walls, but the tumbling mats and trampoline make it obvious that this large indoor space has come to occupy something new.
“I’d been told nobody’d used this space in 15 years,” Next Level Gymnastics Academy founder and head coach Matthew Paul said while his students were warming up.
Originally from Emporia, Paul’s start in gymnastics came at the age of 5. At the age of 11, he switched to trampoline tumbling, in which he spent five years competing.
“In gymnastics, I won most everything in the region,” Paul said.
Paul also was a competitive diver in high school, and was a state qualifier all four years of high school.
“After high school, I coached at Sunflower Gymnastics in Emporia,” Paul said, “and I was, and am, a Wichita State University student.” Paul currently lives in Wichita.
In his travels, Paul said, he found he was traveling through McPherson every other week.
“I contacted the Chamber of Commerce, and McPherson seemed like a welcoming, thoughtful community,” Paul said. “It seemed like it would be a great town in which to start my own facility.”
Next Level Gymnastics opened its doors for business July 1.
Parent David Hobson said he was pleased Paul opened his studio in McPherson.
“My daughter really loves it,” Hobson said, “and it’s amazing how much progress she’s made since she started. I’m really looking forward to seeing the progress to come in the future.”
Mother Dana Regier said her child loves it, too.
“The coaches are very enthusiastic,” Regier said, “and the kids love it. Matthew’s very personable, and the kids look forward to coming every week.”
Next Level Gymnastics is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays feature three hour-long classes, and Wednesdays feature two.
The classes are open to all ages and skill levels.
Enrollment is $50, with a fee after of $50 per month.
Next Level Gymnastics Academy can be found on Facebook by searching for “Next Level Gymnastics Academy,” and can be called or texted at 620-481-3079 or sent e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.