August 6, 2002 - "Gym of Young Olympians"

If you think that youth is wasted on the young, you might want to pass this story by. It's about a local gym dedicated to some very energetic kids.

From learning to turn the perfect cartwheel to a graceful dismount from the uneven bars to a stellar performance on the balance beam. These young Olympians are learning stuff a whole lot more important than how to go for the gold.

At The Little Gym of Baton Rouge Erin Ely, one of the owners, says, "They're going to learn things about improved self esteem. They will take away social skills, emotional skills -- things like risk taking, independence."

At the Little Gym tumbling tykes pick up all of that and more than you might think possible from a song and a mad dash under the multi-colored parachute hoisted aloft by laughing youngsters.

"I really get a good feeling about working with the kids!" says Erin, "There are so many great kids -- kids that actually bring tears to your eyes. They're just precious -- loving, adorable. All our families are just great!"

They may never be on the Wheaties box like Mary Lou Retin, but they've got a leg up on the strait and narrow.

The Little Gym is on Essen Lane, near Perkins. Fall classes start next Monday.