Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 21, 2014

Don’t let gymnastics program be shut down

By Margo Von Strohuber | Jan 16, 2014

To the editor:

I read with sadness and frustration the article about the impending closure of the gymnastics program at Fairfield Parks and Rec.

My 9-year-old granddaughter, Juliette Pohren, has been taking classes with Jeff Ide for the past four years, from the program’s humble beginnings in his garage in Brighton. Her progress under his tutelage has been phenomenal; she was the 2013 State of Iowa trampoline champion for sub-advanced in her age group and she placed third nationally. Her success in gymnastics was equally outstanding.

Juliette is one of many girls and boys on the two teams whose achievements are striking. A glance at the Facebook page (GymnasticsFansofFairfieldIowa) will reveal similar stories and photos of kids who have worked hard for their successes. The team members practice a minimum of 10 hours a week, and for many of them, gymnastics is their passion. The two sports, trampoline and gymnastics, have a season which begins in October and extends until June so these kids are either practicing for meets or going to meets, covering the entire state of Iowa as well as Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois.

The teams have accomplished much despite the makeshift nature of their facilities. Surely there must be a vacant building in Fairfield which could house the program temporarily, or a philanthropic soul willing to donate the money for a building to be erected on the Park and Rec property south of the indoor pool. Jeff Ide, who is also a contractor, estimates that a suitable facility could be built for as little as $200,000. I am reminded of that famous line from the movie “Field of Dreams”: “If you build it, they will come.” Well, the gymnasts are already here; they simply need a structure to house them.

 

– Margo Von Strohuber, Fairfield

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