Sport of gymnastics is for everybody at Wildcard
Sisters bring coaching experience, broad outlook to business
Avid gymnasts since adolescence, sisters Alie Fowler and Amy Grining knew exactly what they wanted - and didn't want - at the Brookfield gymnastics facility the pair opened in 2006.
"We've experienced a lot in our competitive and coaching careers - including a summer when Amy worked at former U.S. Olympic women's coach Bela Karolyi's camp - to see how we wanted to run our own program," said Fowler, who's in her 18th year of gymnastics coaching. "Neither of us wanted a strict club environment where parents weren't allowed to watch. Instead, we have a big viewing area and welcome parents to watch.
"We also didn't want to be an exclusive club, so we created an environment where anyone can do gymnastics and no one is turned away based on their size, shape and ability. This makes for a more rewarding experience for everyone."
Wildcard Gymnastics offers recreational programs, as well as competitive boys and girls teams that participate in local and nationwide U.S.A. Gymnastics and Amateur Athletic Union meets.
The fitness center also holds open gyms for preschoolers on Monday and Friday mornings and for all ages on Friday and Saturday nights. Classes - including dance, cheer and tumbling - are held throughout the week for preschoolers, teens, adults and those with special needs.
"Anyone, from infants to adults, can benefit from our classes," Fowler said. "Wildcard Gymnastics has classes for those who just want to have fun and exercise, and club programs for young people who want to earn a college scholarship."
The sisters head a staff of 13 veteran coaches and instructors, all of whom are U.S.A. Gymnastics certified, have education backgrounds and, Fowler said, are committed to promoting diversity in their sport.
"We really pride ourselves on our dedication to teaching, so we're familiar with how to instruct children and communicate with them," she said. "Wildcard Gymnastics is especially proud of our inclusive, family atmosphere. We're big on bringing in varied ethnicities and introducing kids to others with different backgrounds than theirs."
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JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Wildcard Gymnastics
ADDRESS: 3545 N. 127th St. Brookfield, WI 53005
OWNERS: Alie Fowler and Amy Grining
TYPE OF BUSINESS: gymnastics instruction
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "Always put the needs of a child who you are instructing first. That's where you'll find the greatest success!"
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