City of Florence reopens Freedom Florence Gymnastics Center

In just seven months, the Freedom Florence Gymnastics Center has welcomed nearly 200 young gymnasts.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 10:32 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The City of Florence is offering the youth in their community another outlet to be active and show off their creativity.

Just seven months ago, the Freedom Florence Gymnastics Center was nearly vacant.

“I had learned that the program had been closed down for quite some time due to COVID,” said Tatum Buchanan.

Buchanan has been involved with gymnastics most of her life. Former gymnasts that she coached reached out to her about a job in Florence that she originally thought was a coaching job, but it turned out to be a coordinator position. The City of Florence was looking to bring back gymnastics to the area.

“Once I got in there, we came up with a game plan and we reopened the program,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan took on a large list of responsibilities from working with the city, making class schedules, creating a curriculum, designing new leotards, and recruiting new gymnasts. The program now has about 200 recreational gymnasts and 14 gymnasts on its competition team.

The Florence Gymnastics Team is competing in their first meet this Saturday in Florence against nearly 100 other teams. This will be the first time these girls are participating since the pandemic.

“It goes so much farther than how to tumble or bars how to walk on a beam,” said Buchanan. “Were teaching them life lessons. We’re teaching them how to be good teammates, how to be patient, how to be kinds.

Everyday Buchannan tells her coaches that the hour their students get in their gym might be the best hour of their day. And that there’s so many lessons to learn from sport.

The Freedom Florence Gymnastics Center offers a variety of classes for children starting from 18 months to 18-years-old. Besides from teaching gymnastics they also focus on playground readiness, athletic preparation in other sports and character development.

They also offer Ninja classes as they try to get more boys involved in the sport.