Giant Fun

March 2017

Local Gymnastics facility fosters discipline, confidence and the ability to overcome

Stepping into the old FWCI gym was a giant revelation! Here was Giant Gymnastics spread out before me in all its glory with its huge array of equipment and mats. It is simply a fabulous space that is meeting the needs of many local athletes and athletes to be.

Giant Gymnastics opened its doors at another location in 2008, and Jen Nedgial, head coach, saw the need for another gym. She found the present location, and Giant Gymnastics moved in 2014. Jen saw this as a good wide open space with room to add a new piece of equipment every six months. It is the largest space in Thunder Bay with 1,200 students participating.

Girls, boys, adults, and wee ones starting at two years old make up the membership of Giant Gymnastics. The two year olds, accompanied by a parent, begin with the fundamentals, such as landings and hanging from a bar. In a safe environment, they have fun mastering the obstacle course. During our interview, Jen often used the word, fun. “We built this place for kids to have fun!”

As the athletes progress, they can be on their own, without a parent. At this point, more height is added. In the next progression, the students will go to various stations and learn many different skills. Eventually they will be engaged in doing an advanced programme which will take four hours per week of skill development.

Giant Gymnastics has a competitive group of about thirty athletes who partake in 2-5 competitions per year in places like South Carolina and Minneapolis. However, the bulk of the students are involved in the recreational programs. Jen pointed out that, “We take pride in the fact that we promote teaching each child to the best of their ability.”

The list of the lifelong benefits of gymnastics is impressive. Jen talked about discipline, organization, self-worth, confidence, patience, and the ability to overcome struggles. These are all valuable qualities to acquire for dealing effectively with tough times during life’s journey.

The average time commitment required for recreational gymnastics is 1 1/2 hours per week. For the advanced athlete that time bumps up to 9-10 hours per week, and for the competitive group, it is
20 hours. This is a true test of those lifelong benefits listed above.

Want to take a look? There are exhibitions called mock meets twice a year that are open to the public: a competitive meet in December and a recreational meet in June. This is a great time to see the possibilities of gymnastics and to ask some questions.

Jen Nedgial runs the Giant Gymnastics, along with a staff comprised of thirty six well qualified instructors and office staff. She beamed when she told me that, “We are very proud of our staff. They all love what they’re doing.”

Giant Gymnastics is a healthy and fun way to learn new skills in a supportive and happy environment! To learn more about having some giant fun, contact Jen Nedgial at

Karen Christie is a retired high school teacher and a regular contributor to Bayview. She can be reached at

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