By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Mississippi Valley Gymnastics has experienced some changes in the past year, the biggest of which is a change in its name to Fitnastics.
Nicole and Joe Kupfer purchased the building and business in April 2012 with the intention of implementing a childhood fitness program into their gymnastics training.
Nicole’s brother, Joe Howard, who owns Fitness Professionals 360 in Clinton, is working with the two on incorporating that fitness regimen into their regular class schedule.
“We want to be able to run side-by-side businesses on fitness for the whole family,” Nicole said. “But, we (Fitnastics) really want to focus on the childhood fitness side of that.”
A grand opening for the business will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the academy on South 17th Street, and offers an opportunity for the community to see all the changes the Kupfers have made to the facility.
Some of those changes include new gym colors, gymnastics leotards, the development of a preschool program and preschool room and, of course, the name change.
Although Nicole and Joe are making a number of changes to the facility and the program, the core values that have been taught at the Mississippi Valley Gymnastics Academy since its creation will continue.
“The program as far as the way we teach our gymnastics program will stay the same,” Nicole said. “We’re going to implement condition and core strengths; stuff that’s important to gymnastics.”
She feels that it is important to the overall health of her students as well as the community as a whole to pursue the fitness side of things because of the issue of obesity in children and adults in the nation.
“My brother and I had been talking, and society as a whole has really gotten away from the fitness aspect of things,” Nicole said. “Our goal is to develop into children, at a young age, that fitness is fun.”
According to Nicole, changing the name has been a delicate and lengthy process because she and Joe wanted to be sure that people understood that nothing would be removed from the program.
Their intentions are not to change the way the classes and programs are taught, but to slowly incorporate a more fitness-based core to the academy.
“I think it’s going to take a little bit for people to get used to the new name. (They) are going to think that it’s completely different but it’s not,” Nicole said. “The MVGA program still exists, we just want to continue developing more programs to Fitnastics.”