Now in its 10th year, Severna Park Gymnastics is a staple of the Severna Park community.
When it initially started 10 years ago, Severna Park Gymnastics ran out of the Severna Park Community Center with only three weekly afternoon programs. Now, the club has two full-time locations, as well as two nights of programs at the community center, and a total of 85 weekly classes.
“The biggest thing is we, as a team, are committed to teaching life lessons through sport,” said owner Courtney Parfitt.
Though it is a gymnastics facility, the club offers a variety of activities: gymnastics, dance, ninjas, cheer and sports skills.
The club also offers summer camps, where it partners with outside organizations for joint camps. One program Severna Park Gymnastics partnered with was Artworks Studios for an “art-nastics” camp. The kids got three hours of art in the morning, ate lunch and then had three hours of gymnastics in the afternoon.
“Those camps have evolved with our program offerings, which has made it really nice because then you’re pulling in kids because they like gymnastics, but they like to try other things, too,” Parfitt said.
Severna Park Gymnastics is very connected to its students and listens to their ideas. In 2009, the club started a competitive team and joined the Mason Dixon League. Once the Annapolis location, Thrive Gymnastics, opened, the club started a second competition team.
“Our kids were begging, literally begging, me for it. That’s the only reason we got into it,” Parfitt said. “That’s why we searched for [the Arnold] location. They were like, ‘We need our own gym. We need to practice.’”
Of the 2009 group that wanted to compete, five of them are still on the competitive team, and others have become coaches.
“Hopefully, they’ll be bringing their kids back here, which creates that whole full-circle effect,” Parfitt said. “I think it’s that positive atmosphere and that goal of we’re using gymnastics, we’re using dance, we’re using all of the sports, but we’re trying to make them better people when they leave.”
Severna Park Gymnastics is active in giving back to the community. The club supports school fundraisers, sponsors Girls on the Run and hosts kids from GiGi’s Playhouse, as well as many other philanthropic efforts.
“I think it completes another whole circle,” Parfitt said. “You guys come here and we support you, and then you, in turn, support us. It makes that nice go-round.”
Severna Park Gymnastics will perform at the Kinder Farm Park Fall Harvest Festival on October 13, as well as many of the county schools’ fall festivals.
Severna Park Gymnastics is located at 1244 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park. For more information, call 410-709-8130 or visit www.severnaparkgymnastics.com.