The Story Of How Thrive Gym Came To Exist Is A Journey Of Passion, Commitment And Support Of An Incredible Community Of People
Severna Park Gymnastics (SPG) was founded in the summer of 2008. The creation of SPG was born out of a need for a new home for local gymnasts when The Little Gym of Severna Park closed its doors. At the time, the Severna Park Community Center had just opened its doors after its massive renovation. The Director of SPCC, Chris Marsala, and the former Director of The Little Gym, Courtney Parfitt, joined forces with Patterson Physical Therapy to create a new gymnastics program that met the need of the community. With the help of local families, Severna Park Gymnastics was able to provide high quality gymnastics instruction and innovative fitness programming. The program took off and before long, SPG was a full fledged gymnastics program complete with a competitive team, tumbling classes and boys fitness classes.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
In 2011, the SPG team had their eyes out for a permanent home and a place to expand programming in the Severna Park/Arnold area. As fate would have it, a new sign near a hidden industrial park on Ritchie Hwy had popped up that said "For Lease." After months of investigation, consideration, and hard work, SPG's new home was secured! Students, teachers and families put in hard work, muscle, and time to bring together truck loads of equipment, gallons of paint, and a ton of man-power to prepare the new facility. The week SPG Arnold was set to open its doors there was an earthquake AND a hurricane. But that didn't stop the passion the SPG team had, in fact, it made the commitment even stronger.
SPG-Arnold opened it's doors on August 28th, 2011 and became the 2nd location for Severna Park Gymnastics classes. Over the next 4 years, Severna Park Gymnastics continued to grow and innovate, offering new programs like Taekwondo, Gym Ninjas, Dance/Gym Combo and more competitive team options. SPG-Arnold also has become a central location for the community by providing a gathering place for local Moms Group, Girl Scout Troops, Cheer Teams and Pre-schools. The success of Severna Park Gymnastics is the direct result of the partnership between a supportive community and a passionate group of instructors who are committed to being a positive force for the children and families they serve.
In 2015, the SPG team began to have a dream that they could bring the same service, commitment and positivity to the Greater Annapolis area too. So the process for looking for an additional home began again. As fate would have it, a new sign near a hidden industrial building in the heart of Parole popped up that said "For Lease". After months of investigation, consideration and hard work, SPG's newest location was secured. Because the new home was in Annapolis, the SPG team knew it needed a name that would make it more welcoming to the greater Annapolis Area. After considering our mission, vision and values, the SPG came up with the name of the Sister Gym Program: Thrive Gymnastics. Thrive means to grow or develop well, to prosper and flourish. That is the goal for our children, that is our goal for ourselves and that is the goal for the new community we come into. We have enjoyed helping the families of the Annapolis community to prosper, flourish and grow over the last 3 years through our innovative programs taught by our dedicated and passionate teachers.
In early 2020, COVID-19 began to impact communities across the United States, causing Thrive Gym to have to close its doors temporarily. In an effort to maintain an unwavering level of commitment to our students and their families, our team did in 6 days what it takes most to do in 6 months. Working around the clock for a week from the time we closed our doors, Thrive Gym turned a challenge into an opportunity and initiated a virtual expansion, taking our programs online in two unique and creative ways. Thanks to leaders that are always up to the task, we pulled together yet again in the spirit of determination and dedication, launching Thrive-At-Home and Thrive-2-Go on April 1, 2020. With these innovative programs, we hope to deliver an experience to our community that promises consistency and reliability in a time when they may otherwise feel fleeting. Throughout all of this uncertainty, Thrive Gym and its team remain steadfast in our focus on what truly matters: helping our students, their families, and our community to grow, prosper, and flourish.
Thrive Gym was heavyhearted to see how so many gyms across the country have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; we were especially sad to see a local gymnastics facility, a fellow Greater Annapolis Area business, close their doors for good. Knowing that this closure would be turbulent for displaced students and staff during what was already a most challenging time, we welcomed the unexpected opportunity of acquiring the 451 Defense Highway space. So, with the mission of pouring all of our passion and enthusiasm into this new addition, we got to work in the Fall of 2020. Our team labored around the clock to welcome Thrive families and staff, old and new, to join us on the most recent leg of our journey.