Jump Gymnastics
By YP Contributor

Physical Literacy

Jennifer Hood of Jump Gymnastics is a huge proponent of physical literacy for kids. Physical literacy, the combination of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills, is “the gateway to keeping kids active for the rest of their lives. If we can expose kids to as much as possible early on it opens up doors for them later in life, whether they want to go into elite sport or just stay active. It's also a solution to two major problems – obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, and inconsistent or poor performance of Canadian athletes at an international level.”

Jen, a mom of three girls, who's coached gymnastics across Canada for 20 years and has an early elementary education degree, had always wanted to open a gym where the programming focused on “the best physical literacy for kids.” When her middle daughter was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis she “quickly realized holding down a regular job was going to be impossible for me so I needed something that provided financial security for my family and flexibility so I could be there for all of my kids.” Her daughter's diagnosis gave Jen the incentive she needed to launch Jump.

If we can expose kids to as much as possible early on it opens up doors for them later in life, whether they want to go into elite sport or just stay active. It's also a solution to two major problems – obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, and inconsistent or poor performance of Canadian athletes at an international level. - Jennifer Hood, owner
Jump Gymnastics - Classes, Camps, Date Nights

Jump Around

Jump's first location opened on Beatty Street in Yaletown in 2008. At Jump they teach physical literacy via non-competitive gymnastics, which is all about kids practicing their skills rather than focusing on competition. And though Jen takes her teaching very seriously, the classes at Jump are anything but.

Taught by coaches who have experience working with kids and with a university degree (or working towards one) in a related area, classes at Jump are for kids ranging from six months to eight years old. The gym space is designed to give them the chance to explore movement through activities that enhance balance, strength, flexibility, coordination and agility – think kid-sized trampolines, uneven bars, balance beams, mats, lots of primary colours and a ball pit. What kid isn't going to groove to that?

In addition to their weekly classes, Jump hosts kids' birthday parties, Date Nights where you leave your kids at Jump for a few hours of early-evening fun and head off for some kid-free fun of your own, and for those times when you haven't planned ahead but need to get your mini energizer bunny out of the house, they have their Jump Play drop-in programs.

Jump Gymnastics - Classes, Camps, Date Nights

Active Master Plan

Opening more locations was always part of Jen's master plan, and in the fall of 2014 she opened a new space in North Vancouver on the Dollarton Highway. This allowed her to make Jump's programming accessible to families in Vancouver, East Vancouver, the North Shore, Burnaby and Port Moody. The North Van space is also home to a new location of Kids Physio Group. Kids Physio offers unique child-focused physio services for kids from babies to teens who need help with developmental delays or who are recovering from surgery to sports injuries. Both businesses focus on kids and health, albeit from different angles, so expanding their businesses together was a natural next step for them.

Running two locations and raising three kids certainly keeps Jen active (and sleep-deprived), but knowing she's setting up a whole generation of young Vancouverites to be active for life, while providing herself with the flexibility she needs for her family, keeps her motivated.

Jump Gymnastics - Classes, Camps, Date Nights
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