First Anniversary for Local Business Owners
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 • 1:03pm
Inspired by a love of the sport, and a desire to teach others a love of Gymnastics, co-owners John Skorski and Jennifer Packard took a risk they had both only dreamed of before. Six years ago, they opened the doors to Giant Gymnastics of Hackettstown and began to fulfill that dream. Today, they can now celebrate the 1st Anniversary of their second location, right at home in Sussex County- Giant Gymnastics of Lafayette.
Their Lafayette location was previously owned by Bob and Pat Schutz of Sparta as Schutz Gymnastics. When the Schutz’s were looking to retire, they approached Skorski, who at one point attended Schutz as a child. “We are very proud and honored that the transition of ownership from one to another went so smooth. We were instantly accepted into the family already there, and now feel that we have added to that family. We can't thank the Schutz's enough for this opportunity to work with such wonderful coaches and customers.”
According to Packard, recreational gymnastics classes are the foundation to this sport. It is here that students young and old learn key skills such as strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, self-esteem, confidence, and respect for themselves and others. Stated an excited Packard, “Students build relationships with kids they otherwise would never get a chance to meet- and some of these friendships last a lifetime! Time management skills play a huge role in gymnasts' academic success as well. Not to mention that it is so much fun to run, flip, and play in the world's greatest playground. This year we hope to incorporate more activities and challenges throughout the year to get the kids self-motivated and share their accomplishments with others. But I can't say any more, you'll just have to come to class to find out!”
Many of the gymnasts from Schutz transitioned with the business to Giant. Kayla Komnath, 12 year old gymnast from Hardyston, was on the Schutz gymnastics team and stayed on to compete with Giant, now as a Garden Gator gymnast. “The transition has been easy. I like the new owners! I've learned quite a few new skills-"baby giants" on the high bar and back tucks are my favorites,” shared an enthusiastic Komnath. Kayla’s mom, Laura Komnath, has been impressed with the new ownership. “Since the Hackettstown location has a lot of coaches, Jen and John have the opportunity to constantly learn different approaches/techniques in teaching the girls new skills from the other coaches and vice versa. That extra knowledge/experience trickles down to our Lafayette coaches and girls which makes for a more well rounded experience.” Laura Komnath noted the difference in the team girls over the last year as well. “There has been a lot of attention to detail. The little things can add up and make for a cleaner looking routine.”
This year has seen some physical growth for the Lafayette location as well. “We were so happy to be able to expand into our new office/lobby, giving us more training space. Now we feel we can give more to these gymnasts during each class or practice.” What’s next for the enthusiastic co-owners? “This coming year we want to focus on getting the word out there about us- we want more warm, friendly families to join us! It gives us such a good feeling to know that we can provide a service that makes people happy. And we pride ourselves in giving quality instruction to everyone that walks through the door, from birthday parties to recreational students to competitive gymnasts.” Skorski and Packard also hope to expand into the community more. “We have begun reaching out to schools with some new programs that we would like to share, whether it is during or after school. Not everyone can come to us, so why not come to them! Plus, we would like to get the idea across that gymnastics is for everyone. Everyone can learn something from this sport,” explained Packard.
For more information on recreational classes, birthday parties, events and Parents Night Out, you can visit them online at www.giantgymnastics.com or call 973-579-9400.