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Red Cedar Gymnastics reopening as GymKind Academy in Meridian Mall

GymKind Academy
Posted at 7:03 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 19:03:40-05

OKEMOS, Mich. — Last June, Jamie Boyd-Hamilton made one of the hardest decisions in her career.

“We did what we could to get through the COVID crisis, but the second shutdown that came in that November time period, we were closed out until about January, that was sort of the the death blow for Red Cedar,” said Boyd-Hamilton, the former owner of Red Cedar Gymnastics.

After 22 years and three moves with Red Cedar, she decided they had to close.

“We worked to finish it and have it and on good terms," Boyd-Hamilton said. "So when we announced the closure last year, I was resolved to what was coming.”

Within 48 hours of her announcement, people started sending messages of gratitude.

“The calls started coming and the emails started coming and the messages started coming and people approached me in every place I went grateful and appreciative for their experience, tremendously sad that our presence wasn't going to be in the community anymore,” Boyd-Hamilton said.

Parents with Red Cedar were asking her to reconsider.

“They approached us about maybe having another gym," Boyd-Hamilton said. "So we began that process and I had to come to a decision at some point if I was willing to go along.”

After months of consideration and looking for a new place, she found the perfect spot.

"One of our parents heard about this space in the mall and we came in and took a look around and talk to them and realized what a great and a unique opportunity this is for us," Boyd-Hamilton said.

And the perfect name, GymKind Academy.

“Everyone just kept saying kind. Everyone was kind. We had the kind of program they wanted We were were willing to work with their kind of kid. This is what the kind of experience they wanted and it really just touched me, moved me,” Boyd-Hamilton said.

While the Meridian Mall might not have been her first choice, Boyd-Hamilton said, once she started planning, it was perfect.

“Ceiling heights is a big part of gymnastics, you need to be able to, you know, allow an athlete to be on top of uneven bars and not have to worry about hitting something," Boyd-Hamilton said. "The next thing is having an open span so that we can set up like an entire floor.”

Especially because moving her business back to Okemos was a homecoming.

“Red Cedar gymnastics, ironically started just not too far from here," Boyd-Hamilton said. "So in a lot of ways, it feels like coming home.”

Boyd-Hamilton said they'll offer lots of different activities.

“Combination of recreational and competitive and supplemental activities like tumbling for dancers and cheerleaders, you know, fun little ninja gymnastics classes where boys can run around, jump, climb, and girls, lots of girls and boys classes, but that are not the traditional gymnastics sense too,” Boyd-Hamilton said.

She's grateful for the support from her community during this process and said she can't wait to get back to what she missed.

“It feels like home and I’m just I'm anxious to have that back," Boyd-Hamilton said. "I’m not really sure what I've done with myself for the last few months, I really feel like I missed that I missed them. I miss all of it.”

Boyd-Hamilton said there's still a lot of construction to finish with the bathrooms, light fixtures and painting, but hopes to open the gymnastics academy in February.

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Mikayla Temple

Mikayla Temple

1:39 PM, Jan 05, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Mikayla Temple

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