Flathead Gymnastics Academy was originally established in the Flathead Valley in the late 1980’s, and was acquired by current ownership in August 2011 when Keeley Lowney purchased the gym. Keeley was joined by her husband, David Tighe, in May 2016 as co-owner and head coach of the gym. The gym has developed and grown under the current ownership of Keeley and David Tighe since 2011, and continues to grow with their shared vision of providing quality gymnastics to the Flathead Valley.
FGA has enjoyed a significant growth in program participation among community children as well as program offerings since 2011. Participation in Flathead Gymnastics Academy’s programs has grown from 125 children in 2011 to an average of 360 children in 2017, nearly tripling in program involvement among community families over a six-year period. The Junior Olympic Team program has also grown in size and scope, from 23 girls on the competitive team in 2011 to 50 competitive team members in 2017. Within the team program, the number of girls training and competing at the highest levels within USAG Junior Olympic standards has also grown - from 4 Optional gymnasts in 2011 to 17 Optional Gymnasts in 2017.
Program offerings at Flathead Gymnastics Academy have expanded to meet the growing demand, interests, and involvement of community families since 2011. Under current ownership, the Aerial Silks and Extreme Gymnastics programs were developed as program offerings to the community. The Extreme Gymnastics class has further grown to be offered 5 days per week, including Intermediate classes for the first time in 2017. The Gold Advanced class was also created for advancing gymnasts within the recreational program, as well as different age divisions within the Bronze Beginner classes to better serve students at different developmental levels.
This growth in enrollment, community participation, and program offerings at Flathead Gymnastics Academy has been accompanied and supported by growth in the facility size, advances in equipment, and continued education and staff training to provide quality gymnastics throughout the growth process. In 2012, the gym was remodeled and expanded in size, providing more training and practice space for gymnasts as well as building a front desk, gym offices, and viewing bleachers for parents.
In addition to gym remodeling, David and Keeley have invested in top of the line American Athletic Incorporated (AAI) equipment, a frequent supplier of equipment for World Championship and Olympic events. New equipment additions to the gym since 2011 include a set of uneven bars, 5 recreational elite kid bars, 4 beams, a tumble strip, mini tracks, 5 silks, a spotting rig system, 2 resi pit systems, a canyon block system, landing mats, and ninja obstacle course equipment. FGA has invested over $100,000 in new equipment between 2011-2017, reflecting David and Keeley’s commitment to providing top of the line equipment in quality and safety standards to support both competitive and recreational gymnasts in the facility.
Keeley and David Tighe highly value participating in ongoing education and training opportunities to further develop staff knowledge and stay up-to-date with developments in the field of gymnastics. Lead staff have attended the following educational clinics and conferences in recent years: 2013 USAG Region 1 Congress in San Jose, CA; 2014 Montana State Clinic in Billings; 2015 USAG Region 2 Congress in Portland, OR; 2015 High Tech Clinic in Kent, WA; 2016 Montana State Clinic in Billings; 2016 Bar Boot Camp in Colorado Springs, CO; and 2016 High Tech Clinic in Kent, WA. These clinics are great opportunities where industry leaders share knowledge in providing top-level, quality gymnastics to every level and age of gymnast.
In addition to attending outside educational clinics, Flathead Gymnastics Academy has created opportunities to bring outside expertise to the gym by hosting clinics for team gymnasts in Kalispell. Gymnasts and coaches at Flathead Gymnastics Academy have greatly benefited from outside leaders in the field of gymnastics teaching clinics at FGA in recent years. Recent clinicians include: three-time Olympian and top Venezuelan Gymnast Jessica Lopez and her coach Nilson Madeiros-Savage in 2012; Jim, Nancy, and David Tighe from Gem State Gymnastics in 2014; owner of Palouse Empire Gymnastics in Moscow, Idaho, Mark Kindelspire, in 2015; and National Team Coaches and Boise State University gymnastics coaches, Neil and Patty Resnick in 2016.
As Flathead Gymnastics Academy continues to grow, develop, and evolve each year to better serve community families, owners David and Keeley Tighe continue to focus on providing quality gymnastics to the valley through their shared vision and love for the sport of gymnastics.