Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brandon gymnastics center fulfills owner's dream

BRANDON — Most young gymnasts dream of one day competing in the Olympics, to have a gold medal hang around their necks like American greats Mary Lou Retton or Nastia Liukin.

Tonie Campbell had something a little different in mind.

"From the time I was 14," Campbell said. "I wanted to own my own gym."

Even at that young age, Campbell envisioned herself teaching others the art of gymnastics and expressing her love for the sport.

"I knew I had the passion to do it then," she said. "And that passion has only grown stronger."

In 2005, Campbell realized her dream when she opened Golden City Gymnastics near the corner of Lithia Pinecrest and Lumsden roads in Brandon. The gym holds classes and training sessions for ages 18 months to 18 years old.

"It's been about completing a vision that started a long time ago," Campbell said.

In the four years Golden City Gymnastics has been open, the facility has doubled in size to approximately 20,000 square feet.

"This whole process has been baby steps," Campbell said. "It's been done little by little."

Each of Campbell's three daughters participated in gymnastics, but it was a conversation with a coach that reignited her interest in the sport.

"I was talking about the program (my daughters were in), and said I'd always wanted to coach," Campbell said. "And they said to me 'Why not start now?' "

A few years later, the dreamer turned coach and gym owner when Golden City opened its doors and brought in upper-level coaches. "A lot of places have teenagers who coach, and that's fine because some teenagers can be good coaches," Campbell said. "But I wanted to get quality, experienced coaches who could help train these athletes properly."

But rather than open a gym strictly concerned with results, Campbell wanted an all-inclusive environment that was conducive for all who walked in the door. "Our vision was to open this center where good character mattered and families would feel comfortable sending their children," Campbell said. "But we also have a mix of high-level competition."

Earlier this month, a pair of girls' teams from Golden City Gymnastics (ages 7-11 and 10-12) representing Team Florida won first place at the AAU Junior Olympic Gymnastics competition in Des Moines, Iowa.

In addition to the team success, Haileigh Maxwell (10-11 division), Autumn Waldo (12-13) and Aimee Kelleher (16-19) each took home first place for the all-around competition in their respective divisions. Maxwell's overall 36.675 score tied for best score at the event, while Kelleher won the Joel Ferrell Outstanding Performance Memorial Award for the athlete in each sport that best encompasses ability and sportsmanship.

"I think the travel was fun and very thrilling for the girls," Campbell said. "And (the Junior Olympics) really went out of their way to make it a special event for the kids."

Brandon Wright can be reached at hillsnews@sptimes.com.

Brandon gymnastics center fulfills owner's dream 08/20/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern

    Blogs

    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.
  2. Lightning's Ondrej Palat happy with new deal, new talent

    Lightning Strikes

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) works to play the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (01/03/17).
  3. 2008 playoff thoughts in bloom for Rays; Souza injury not expected serious in loss to A's

    The Heater

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Before the 7-2 loss to the A's and Steven Souza Jr.'s hip injury, or at least scare, Wednesday started with good vibes in the Rays' clubhouse.

    Rays rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. hurts his hip after an awkward slide into second base during the first inning.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways on Wednesday's Rays-A's game

    The Heater

    Jake Faria wasn't going straight to Cooperstown at 500-0, so a day like Wednesday was going to happen, when he made too many mistakes. The challenge now is how he responds. Incidental casualty: His first loss in nine starts since getting engaged.

  5. Rory McIlroy at 20-1 for British Open? 'Good time to back me' (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — So artful are the usual gambling options in this creative nation that anyone can bet on some serious minutiae concerning the 146th British Open, which begins today. Which golfer will finish first among Thai players, among Indian players, among Swedes, among Danes, among Scandinavians, among …

    Rory McIlroy, center, chats with caddie JP Fitzgerald, right, and swing coach Michael Bannon during a practice round at Royal Birkdale. “I feel like it’s all coming together,” he says.