When you enter the Quonset hut you come into a lobby that that is stacked two-three deep, on both sides with trophies. Beyond the lobby the Quonset hut is jam packed with gymnastics equipment, and the equipment is fully in use, as numerous budding gymnasts of all ages and both sexes work on their skills.

This is obviously a long running, and highly successful, operation. One of the current coaches, Christine Zito, said that most of the current coaches are former students. She even points out that the there are photos of highly successful teams from the past on the wall in the lobby, that include the current director of the center, Kay Walsh.

On a recent visit to the Friendship Gymnastics Center there were at least 50 gymnasts working on their skills and routines. Students were working on exercise mats, on balance beams, on rings and on the high bar. The youngest participants were on the trampoline and there was also a “pit” filled with chunks of foam that was not in use, but looked like it could have multiple fun uses.

A number of categories of athletes were involved. Two groups of athletes were campers from the highly regarded Camp Friendship overnight program. This is a summer camp that attracts participants from all over the United States, and all over the world. Coach Zito said that Spanish and French campers were involved this week. The campers have a number of activities they can elect to participate in, and some of the campers include in their activities a gymnastics program that is provided by the Friendship Gymnastics Camp.

Also working out at the facility were members of the competitive gymnastics teams. These athletes are local youths who workout and compete year round. These teams are the ones who have accumulated all the trophies over the years. Also participating in the summer programs are participants in summer clinics, who are interested in gymnastics, but have not yet developed the skills to join a competitive team.

The various programs that were taking place during a recent visit included gymnasts from four year old to high school age.

At the higher competitive level the Friendship gymnastics teams are known as the “Fluvanna Flyers.” Their boys and girls teams compete in competitions from Level 4 to Level 8, out of Levels 1-10.

In addition to gymnastics, the Friendship Gymnastics Center also offers programs in cheerleading and dance. The dance programs are in conjunction with the Brushwood School of Dance from Gordonsville. The Cheerleading program offers competitive programs that have involved a number of Fluvanna High School cheerleaders in the past.

The coaches at the center emphasized that classes are offered for students at all skill levels and for all age groups. Registration for fall classes will start in August. The fall session runs for 12 weeks from September to December. Classes are reasonably priced and the coaches note that they can find ways for all interested students to participate. Friendship Gymnastics Center is online at

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