Youth Gymnastics Here at Stout

SEGABy Joey Peterson —

Stout Elite Gymnastics Academy (SEGA) is a gymnastics academy for all levels held here at University of Wisconsin–Stout. The instructors of the program have fifteen or more years of experience with gymnastics and the academy maintains a gymnast to coach ratio of 1:7.

The mission of the academy is as follows: “At SEGA Gymnastics, our objective is to provide your child with an encouraging, safe and energetic learning experience. We aim to build strength, flexibility, endurance, self-confidence and a sense of achievement, all while having fun in the sport of gymnastics.”

SEGA is run by Head UW–Stout Gymnastic coach Becky Beaulieu, who is entering her 11th season as head coach. The program has been running well before Beaulieu came to Stout, she said, “Although I would say back then we had about fifty kids in the program, so it was pretty small and that was fifteen to twenty years ago, in the last ten years we have been bringing brochures around to local schools and continued to grow the program so it has tripled in size.”

The academy has a variety of classes, with kids ranging from two years old to about fourteen or fifteen. SEGA offers classes for beginners all the way up to advanced gymnasts.

Additionally, there are also classes for boys. “We have a boy’s class we are running and have been updating that and that’s a little bit new,” said Beaulieu. “There’s a boy’s ninja turtles class which is ages four to six and a boy ninja zone class which is six, seven and eight year olds and that is kind of gymnastics combined with some martial arts; it’s kind of a take-off of the ultimate ninja warrior” said Beaulieu.

Also, Stout Elite Gymnastics Academy has a team on which gymnasts can compete. “Our competitive team which has eight kids on it and their ages eight to eleven, and they compete USA Gymnastics and AUU Gymnastics level,” said Beaulieu.

Along with the team, the program also runs prep classes for middle schoolers and high schoolers in preparation for their seasons. “That runs September through early November and gets them ready for their high school season,” said Beaulieu. The classes started September 14, and go until December 13. Each class meets a couple times a week depending on which class each gymnast is in.

There are a couple things that are new in the program, one being the league or division the kids compete in. “Most recently we have switched from the kids competing in MGA which is Midwest Gymnastics association to AUU gymnastics and USA gymnastics,” said Beaulieu.

Another reason why this is a special program is the attention to detail and perfection the coaches and gymnasts strive for. “We are really working just to make sure we are teaching correct technique with the kids, so that’s what I think makes it special.” The Blue Devil’s gymnastics team opens up competition at home against the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse on Friday, January 8, 2016.

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