Sports

 Sports

Springboro Gym gives sports a tumble.

Mike Boyer

After all Diane and her husband had no experience in gymnastics, but David loved tumbling and dreamed even as a teenager of one day owning the gym.

That opportunity came when the former owner was looking to close or sell the facility, which had opened in 1997. The Trifiros acquired the renamed Ohio Sports Academy in 2010 with the idea that David would one day take over the business.

“It amazes me this happened to us,” says Diane, a former office manager and tax preparer for H&R Block. “It’s a lot of fun owning your own business and seeing what you can do to influence not only the business but how appreciative parents and kids are for what you can do for them. It’s been just so much fun. I don’t ever regret a minute of it.”

Ohio Sports Academy has grown from about 600 students to nearly 900. The Trifiros say their gym is the only one in the Dayton area offering both competitive trampoline and tumbling and what’s known as acrobatic gymnastics, or sports acrobatics.

“The best way to describe it is that it is figuring skating without the ice,” says Diane.

The athletes are paired and perform acrobatic moves, throws and catches set to music on a gymnastic spring floor. The academy has both men’s and women’s teams.

“The other thing that makes us different is we specialize in tumbling. Of our almost 900 kids, probably 550 are enrolled specialized tumbling classes,” says Diane.

The 16,000-square-foot facility has four in-ground trampolines, a foam pit for training, three tumbling tracks and spring floors for gymnastic work and a preschool gym where the equipment is sized for kids as young as 2.

The academy also offers a class for new moms and their infants as young as 6 weeks, which isn’t about gymnastics but bonding between mother and child.

The academy also offers a new co-ed sport called Ninja Zone, which mixes gymnastics, obstacle course training and some martial arts.

“We offer two competitions a year called Ninja Games with a DJ and special lighting. The students compete against each other on an obstacle course for both time and skill,” she says.

Among the benefits of tumbling and trampoline, Diane says, are increased body awareness that can be a foundation for other sports.

“You need to be aware of where your body is in the air and it also has a strength component,” she says.

“Gymnastics is great at instilling confidence and a sense of discipline in kids. The repetition the sport requires makes a child realize that they need to work hard to accomplish a goal.”

The team sports are just a part of what Ohio Sports Academy offers.

“Most kids come to us because tumbling is fun, or they might be a cheerleader at school and need more skills to make the squad at school.”

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