Co-Owner and Coach John Skorski and Coaches Carly Earl and Bob Schutz chose to foot bike for the race. Credits: Margaret Witt
The Giant Gymnastics team heading out to the start line, all decked out in red and ready to run/footbike. Credits: Margaret Witt
Coach Susan Bysshe ran with her husband Geoff, and their two gymnasts, Marguerite and Henry. Marguerite placed 3rd for girls ages 7-9 and Henry placed 3rd for boys 7-9. Credits: Margaret Witt
Front row: Henry Byshhe and his dog, Greta, of Sparta. 2nd row: Tori Frisbie of Sandyston , Adelina Zahner of Sparta, Linda Lebo of Hackettstown, Marguerite Bysshe and Kaitlyn LeGasca of Sparta, Carly Earl of Wantage and Geoff Bysshe of Sparta. 3rd row: Jennifer Packard of Newton, Kim Frisbie of Sandyston, Emma Zahner and Maureen Grenaud of Sparta, Susan Bysshe and Kelly Hurley of Sparta, Christina Chernati of Stillwater and Bob Schutz of Sparta. Back row: Brooke Billing of Green, Jordan Adler of Randolph, Lauren Packard of Philadelphia, John Skorski of Newton Credits: Margaret Witt
Families from Giant Gymnastics Run to Support Special Olympics
Thursday, April 26, 2012 • 11:12pm
Gymnasts from Giant Gymnastics in Lafayette were joined by their coaches and even their families last Saturday to prove they don’t just know how to flip and fly-they know how to run for a cause as well. The Giant Gymnastics team received two team awards- 2nd place for Largest Team Award and 3rd place for Fastest Team Award. There were 5 individual awards from the team as well. In the girls 7-9 age group, Garden Gator gymnastics team members Adelina Zahner and Marguerite Bysshe placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Henry Bysshe, who attends the boys gymnastics class with Coach Bob Schutz also placed 3rd for boys ages 7-9. Christina Chernati, a Silver Garden Gator team member, came home with gold for her 1st place run in the girls age 10-14 category. Emma Zahner placed 3rd in that age group.
Giant had 19 members on their running team for the Main Street 5K in Sparta. “Originally, we just wanted to support Special Olympics by having a table at the expo. Then I thought, why not try to get a team together,” explained co-owner Jennifer Packard. “We put the sign-up sheet up, and were pleasantly surprised to find that we had so many of our gymnasts sign up.” Not only did they have 9 of their gymnasts sign up, but some of them had dad and mom joining the 5k as well. They were joined by 7 of the coaches from both Giant’s Lafayette and Hackettstown locations. The Bysshe family even brought their four legged pal along for the run.
Giant Gymnastics has been a proud supporter of the Special Olympics for two years. Two years ago, Packard and co-owner John Skorski were approached by Special Olympics Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach Christen Cohn, who was looking for a new home for her team to practice, as the space they had previously been using was no longer available to them. “We used to practice in Netcong, but the studio had to close due to a lease agreement and Giant Gymnastics was willing to take us on and allow us to practice in their facility. They donate their space to us which is really nice of them,” said a grateful Cohn. "We are so happy to have this group practice at our gym,” explained Skorski. “And Christen is wonderful with them, giving her all to these athletes every weekend. We are proud of these athletes and what they have accomplished." The new team of gymnasts was welcomed with open arms and has been practicing on Sunday’s at the Hackettstown location since then.
Cohn has been involved in Special Olympics for 18 years, beginning with her sister, Robyn Carlson, who is on the team. She’s been with the team she has now, consisting of 6 women ages 25 to 63, for ten years. There are four types of routines: rope, hoop, ball, and ribbon. Each routine incorporates the use of each type of equipment. The team has the opportunity to show off their skills at two competitions a year. The first one is in May and is the sectional meet to qualify for Summer Games and the second competition is state games at The College of New Jersey and it is the second weekend in June. However, they were also at the Sparta 5K, where they were able to demonstrate some of their routines after competing in the 100m dash. “I thought it was a great turnout and any fundraiser is great to help Area 3 Special Olympics.”
For more information about how you can Support the Special Olympics, sponsor or join Cohn’s team, contact Christen Cohn at 908-399-5080 or email her at email@example.com.
For more information about Giant Gymnastics classes, special events, birthday parties and Parent’s Night Out’s, please call 973-579-9400 or visit them online at www.giantgymnastics.com.