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NASA Gymnastics celebrates 35 years in Gig Harbor

Saturday (June 18) marks the 35th anniversary of NASA Gymnastics’ opening in Gig Harbor.

NASA, or North American Sports Academy, offers a variety of gymnastics classes such as preschool, recreational and team.

Over time, gymnastics at NASA has “progressively gotten more popular,” said Linda Smith.

Smith has worked at NASA since its opening in 1982. Both her and her husband, John, own and work at the facility.

Part of what motivates children to join NASA gymnastics are the Summer Olympics, Smith said.

It’s during these years in which many young individuals view stunts performed on their televisions, and aspire to accomplish the same acts. Three to four years after the Summer Olympics have passed, the rise of popularity in gymnastics usually takes a dip.

During the semi-stagnant years, NASA is able to stay afloat by adhering to its motto: “Quality coaching with a smile!”

In addition to adhering to its motto, NASA continuously upgrades gymnastics equipment.

Recent upgrades have included adding a springfree trampoline and air equipment from Tumbl Trak.

As head coach, Smith eases her students into learning new stunts. For example, if a child wants to learn how to walk on the balance beam, they will begin by walking on a line on the floor, and steadily progress from there.

The fall season runs from August through December. During the fall season, approximately four competitions are held. During the spring season, January to May, 8 to 13 competitions are held.

The most popular time of the year to join a gymnastics team at NASA is during the fall season. The amount of children on a team fluctuates during the summertime due to travel.

NASA will host a celebratory Friendship Invitational to showcase its gymnasts’ skills at 9 a.m. Saturday (June 18) at 2905 Jahn Ave NW #11.

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