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Bare Foot Gymnastics

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Barney and Cathy Gwilliam in St. George have known since high school what they wanted to do in life. Cathy became interested in gymnastics in junior high school. The gymnastics bug bit Barney during high school.

After school, Barney became involved in the lumber business and eventually they found themselves in Boise, Idaho. Remembering how much they enjoyed gymnastics in their youth, they decided to get their own children involved. There was a nice facility in Boise, and the Gwilliam kids thrived in the competition and fun of gymnastics. Soon, Barney was transferred to St. George and was disappointed when he found there was no facility for his children's interest in gymnastics.

What to do? Well, Barney and Cathy thought what a great opportunity to do something they loved and something they wanted for their children. Barney left the lumber business and the family started Bare Foot Gymnastics.

The Gwilliams had a desire to not necessarily train Olympic-caliber athletes but wanted young people to acquire self-esteem and confidence and have fun. They do organize and train competitive teams although it isn’t their main purpose. And they really have some great talent. While I was waiting to visit with Barney, two of his children Caleb and Ashley decided to do a little demonstration for me. They were terrific. Such talent!

That initial gymnastics studio has really grown and expanded programs. They moved into much larger and nicer facilities in the fall of 2000 and now enjoy a 9,500-square-foot gymnasium plus a swimming pool, a dance studio and a Montessori school on the premises. The Gwilliam family now offer jazz, funk and hip-hop dance classes for people 12 years of age and older. Swimming classes are offered, and the Montessori School includes classes for children three years old through kindergarten.

Yes, there is indeed more than gymnastics. Now Barney and Cathy call there program Bare Foot Gymnastics Club and Kids Fitness Center. Why the name Bare Foot? Well, Barney said they couldn't think of a name initially. But then they noticed that all the kids doing gymnastics were in bare feet and “Bare Foot” just sounded right.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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