SOUTHPORT, Fla. (WMBB) – The Edgewater Gymnastics continues to grow their facilities by adding a second gymnasium this month.
The second gym allows them to have more space to train and also provides the facilities to house an increased number of gymnasts.
“Our waiting list was just growing and growing, and so many Panama City local kids, even Callaway area, Fort Walton, all these different kids around the entire area around Panama City, they wanted to you know see our gym and see what the hype is all about, and now with our second location we’re really able to let all these different kids that have just dreamed of being part of the Edgewater family, they get to be a part of it now,” Edgewater Gymnastics coach Anna Rodriguez said.
As three-peat state champions, Edgewater has set the tone for gymnasts not just locally, but on national levels as well. With the addition of their second gym, their team can grow.
“Our team is very, highly competitive. Right now we are number one in the country, and so everybody wants to be here, everyone wants to be a part of it, and so we open the doors now to everyone,” Edgewater Gymnastics owner and coach Pam Kitchen said.
The construction of the second gym is something the program never thought may be possible as they were left with almost nothing after Hurricane Michael destroyed their original building. Now, two and a half years later, their progress is something they are proud of.
“Upstairs, we have this yoga mat that reminds the kids of the hurricane, it is a panoramic picture of the gym when it was destroyed, and everyday when they walk it, it’s kind of a reminder of how far they’ve come and all of the achievements that they’ve made in just three years,'” Rodriquez said.
Now, as a program poised to make a run at a fourth straight state championship, Edgewater is grateful to those in the community who have helped them get back up on their feet.
“James McConnell from Tool Time, he had built this gym, and so he ended up building another building over there, and so thanks to him you know we have the two facilities and we can offer gymnastics to just so many more kids that really want to be here,” Kitchen said.