Academy has helped scores stay focused

Take a tumble: NSW Academy of Gymnastics students. Picture: John Veage
Take a tumble: NSW Academy of Gymnastics students. Picture: John Veage

BILL Parsons started the NSW Academy of Gymnastics at Miranda 43 years ago as a way of keeping youth off the street.

As a former gymnast himself, Mr Parsons knew the importance of learning a sport that was equal parts focus and skill.

He said gymnastics was important for every stage of a child's development, especially strength and focus.

"It is about giving kids an opportunity to grow and develop," he said.

Toddlers who attended classes could focus better when they went to school because of the skills that they learned at the gym.

"We've had 30,000 kids go through here, and have 92 second-generations at the gym at the moment," he said.

During the day children from 18 months to five years learn gymnastics, while the afternoon is for school-aged children and even adults.

Many children with health issues, including cerebral palsy, were advised by their doctors to learn gymnastics.

He said it was also beneficial for children with learning disorders.

"We try to help those parents by channelling [children's] energy into the correct area."