WAUPUN — A large crowd gathered to attend the grand opening of the new Waupun Gymnastics Club facility Saturday afternoon. Waupun Gymnastics is a local youth gymnastics program that draws approximately 500 students a year, hosting classes and participating in competitions. Earlier this year they purchased the old AutoPlus Auto Parts Store building at 16 Fond du Lac Street and held a fundraiser to purchase new equipment and renovate the facility to fit their needs.
“It’s been a real process,” said Emily Engelhardt, President of Waupun Gymnastics. “It started with my mom Jane about twenty years ago. It’s been a dream for a long time as the program has grown.”
Waupun Gymnastics Club was founded as “GymStars” by Jane Neevel in 2006 as a feeder program for the Waupun Warrior High School team, according to the “About Us” page on the official Waupun Gymnastics Club website. Since their foundation the Gymnastics Club has grown to offer classes for all ages, four levels of competitive teams, and has participated in state championships and meets. In 2019 they changed their name from GymStars to Waupun Gymnastics Club, and transitioned to a board-run non-profit organization.
“We’re a women-run not-for-profit. Basically everything goes right back to the program. Gymnastics is expensive, the equipment is expensive. But it’s worth it for everyone involved,” Engelhardt said. “We are so thankful to all our business sponsors, donors, volunteers and the community for their support not only today but for the last 20 years. It’s what has made this long-time dream possible!”
Prior to moving into their new facility, Waupun Gymnastics used the lower gym at Rock River Intermediate; but due to growing space restraints decided they needed to get their own facility. After a several-month process of fundraising and renovation, Waupun Gymnastics finally held their grand opening. Mayor of Waupun Rohn Bishop attended the grand opening and cut the ribbon during the ceremony after a few words from members of the club board.
“We are officially open for business, and started our Summer class session last week,” Engelhardt said. “We look forward to servicing our community and encouraging kids to be active in a fun and different way.”
Even though Waupun Gymnastics has moved into their new facility, the fundraiser is still ongoing. “We’ll continue our capital campaign through March of 2023. So far we’ve raised $60,000 of our $160,000 goal,” Engelhardt told Waupun Pioneer.
For full class offerings and descriptions, community members can visit the official Waupun Gymnastics Club website at waupungymnastics.org. Waupun Gymnastics can also be contacted at their email: firstname.lastname@example.org.