Little Gymnasts is all about children and their physical training that involves gymnastics. Recently we came across their Instagram profile and asked some details about this one of a kind venture in Karachi. It’s amazing to know how Amra, the woman behind little gymnasts came up with the notion to start it and since then it has been blooming and reaching more and more people.
Let’s have a look at the conversation that took place between ChalkTalk and Amra Ghazi.
Chalktalk: Tell us a little about yourself.
Amra: I completed my BBA in 2010. Currently a sahm of three kids namely
Maryam, age 7
Azan, age 6
Arman age 2
ChalkTalk: How did little gymnast start? What was the idea behind it?
Amra: Maryam was never interested in sports and was always a very girly child. She used to hate PE and all forms of exercise. Being a very petite child she was also not very athletic. One day I noticed that Maryam could do perfect splits and was extremely flexible. Soon after, she saw a few videos of children her age, in the US, doing tumbles, cartwheels and other gymnastics.
Over the next few weeks Maryam was engrossed in watching gymnastics videos and mastered a cartwheel. All of a sudden she had become sporty and stopped walking and literally cartwheeled everywhere. She seemed to be naturally talented and gymnastics and wanted to encourage her. I was very scared as self-taught sports can lead to injury so I tried to find a place where Maryam can be taught by a professional. I searched around everywhere for gymnastics classes but could not find anything suitable and thus thought to start our own journey of gymnastics.
ChalkTalk: Are there any existing places that provide gymnastics for children?
Amra: I managed to find a few but they all had problems that weren’t suiting my sanity and my children’s safety. Either the environment wasn’t comfortable. They weren’t actually teaching gymnastics. Too many children. No equipment or safety standards.
ChalkTalk: How did you come across gymnastic trainers and equipment?
Amra: I found some former competitive gymnasts through some personal contacts who agreed to teach my two elder children at home. As our two children progressed I realized that they would need more equipment. However, it was very hard to come by.
It was a struggle but we ended up finding some equipment and some was custom made. Our children started practicing their gymnastics at school during their free time and breaks. This resulted in other children becoming interested. Initially other parents started contacting me to get classes with our kids.
ChalkTalk: How has this journey been until now?
Amra: We started off with a weekly class for close friends but the demand seemed endless. We started out first winter camp in the end of 2018 with 10 children. Today we have over 40 children over 4 classes a week.
ChalkTalk: We would like to know more about the sessions, trainers and goals little gymnasts focuses on.
Amra: We offer up to 4 classes a week with a ratio of 3 instructors to every 10 children. Many of our more serious children take up to 3 classes a week. We offer classes to children between the ages 3 years to 15 years of age. Children are divided up by their abilities (beginner-level 1 to Level 5)
Our instructors are all current or former competitive gymnasts and the head gymnast is a gold medalist.
Our core goals are:
o Social skills
o Obesity prevention
o Increased cognitive function
Gymnastics as a sport is divided into 3 main disciplines:
Horizontal Bar progressions and Balance Beam progressions
ChalkTalk: Where are you located?
Amra: We are situated in Phase 1 DHA, Karachi. Currently we are working out of a semi covered garden about 3500 square feet. We have all types of mats and acrobatic aids that include balance beam, horizontal bar, spring boards and vaults.
ChalkTalk: How do you manage to look after little gymnasts, your home and kids?
Amra: Well, as a mother of three initially it was very difficult to manage the classes as you know it’s a very big responsibility but with the help of my husband and supportive in-laws it wasn’t as hard as i thought but I still remember a day when my father got hospitalized and I had to rush to the hospital. I couldn’t even think of anything and suddenly I remembered that there is a gymnastics class at my place. I called my mil and she said she is already taking care of everything so yes she is one of my biggest supports.
ChalkTalk: How can parents contact you if they want to enroll their child in little gymnasts?
Amra: We are very active on our social media platforms.We can also be contacted at our whatsapp #0300-8246025 for any queries. We are running a Facebook group
It is amazing knowing that such a thing exists in Karachi in times when outdoor activities and opportunities for the children are scarce.