Bare Foot Gymnastics

Posted - Dec. 23, 2003 at 7:16 a.m.



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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. And 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. But, 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 left the lumber business and the family started Bare Foot Gymnastics.

The Gwilliams had a desire to not necessarily train Olympic-caliber athletes but they just wanted young people to acquire self-esteem and confidence and have fun. Well, they do organize and train competitive teams although that 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 just for me. And I'll tell you, it was terrific. Such great talent!

That initial gymnastics studio has really grown and expanded with their 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 their 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 do so 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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