A Busy Fall at Buckeye Gymnastics
posted on 10/05/2018

Dear USA Member Clubs:

Buckeye Gymnastics is enjoying a busy fall here in Central Ohio. This is very good news indeed given all the negative press, the Senate hearings, and the various interviews and news broadcasts that continue to hammer USA Gymnastics. Our current gym families have supported us throughout the bad times that have come to our beloved sport, but it was encouraging when team auditions and registrations reached an all-time high last spring. But new families starting this fall? I did not know what to expect.

While our recreation enrollment has been soft our competition team hours have grown significantly. Preschool enrollment, particularly day-time preschool enrollment, is down. School-age recreational programs are flat. The bright spot for us has been our competition programs. We have always fielded a large team with competitors at levels 2 through elite. We have also fielded Xcel teams at the recreation level for over a decade in a league involving other gyms in Central Ohio. This year we started offering Xcel as part of our competition program and the huge response has been something of a surprise. Those gymnasts are excited and ready to begin competition within the USA Gymnastics Xcel program.

Our new and still growing Xcel team will encourage us to expand the Buckeye Classic to include additional sessions at all Xcel levels. The Buckeye Classic expanded to five gyms and nearly 4,000 competitors last February in the dead of winter in frozen Columbus, Ohio. This year we might have to expand to six gyms so that we do not have to turn so many teams away. We are also thrilled to once again be a Nastia Liukin Cup qualifying meet as well as an elite qualifying competition.

Even as we are growing our team we are not standing still with our recreational programs. We have expanded Buckeye Warriors with more space and exciting new equipment with an emphasis on obstacle courses that is attracting a lot of boys new to the gym. We are also considering offering drop-in preschool play times during the day to generate interest in our day-time Buckeye Bear classes.

Buckeye’s most significant, purely-business initiative this year came on line a few months ago with the completion of one of the largest solar arrays in our county which is located on the roof of our Westerville gym. Buckeye Gymnastics has gone green. We have generated over 75,000 kWt hours since we added solar and replaced our fluorescent lights with LED lights saving significantly on the electric bills. We should break even on this investment within five years with the tax credit and depreciation. At that point we will still enjoy saving on energy while also doing our part for the environment.

Finally, we have rededicated ourselves to the core mission of Buckeye Gymnastics and that is to encourage our gymnasts to go as far as their talent and hard work will take them in an environment that is safe, positive, professional and passionate. Our students, athletes and staff deserve no less and our ongoing efforts to fulfill that mission have carried Buckeye through 36 years of building happy, healthy, smart and confident kids.

Sincerely,

David Holcomb
Founder and Owner, Buckeye Gymnastics, Inc.
Westerville, OH