For about four years, Sydnie Evans has taught students the art of gymnastics. But her dream to open her own gym began years before that.
In May 2013, Evans brought that dream to Aledo with the opening of the Impact Athletics Training Center.
"I’ve just wanted to do it my whole life," Evans says, ever since grade school. "I guess that’s what I’ve wanted to do. I just stuck with it, tried my hardest and we worked hard to get here."
Evans has been involved in gymnastics since she was just 6 years old and had success throughout high school before receiving a scholarship to Weatherford College for cheerleading.
"My philosophy is, I want to get them ready for college," Evans said.
On top of the students she already had, more from Aledo as well as Weatherford, Saginaw, Fort Worth, Keller and Brock joined so she now has about 150 students.
Currently her students are at levels 1-7 of experience. For the first time this year, Evans began training girls at levels 1 and 2, as young as 4 years old. Her oldest students are currently 13.
This year, Impact had enough students to have them compete in a team event in January. The level 6 team won first in the team event of the Texas Prime Meet held in Irving.
Each team member also walked away with a medal in some event, whether floor, all-around, vault, bars or the beam.
Aubrey Miller won 1st on the beam and 2nd all around, Adelaide Lovett 1st on the floor event, while Leah Rogers placed 3rd on the beam, all-around and bars.
At the fall competition, the Level 4 and 5 students all advanced to the state level where several received medals in different events.
"We had a lot of champions," Evans said.
Their recent success is a result of a lot of work – about 25 hours of practice a week which increases to 36 a week during the summer. Practice includes not just work at the gym but also ballet and jazz classes and a couple days of CrossFit a week.
But Evans said they are careful with the hours of practice, making sure students will not be worn down and that they also have a good time.
"The girls have a lot of fun," Evans said.
Evans said she is happy to be in Aledo, where they found a building on Craig’s List. The city welcomed Impact in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with city leaders present.
"They have been great," Evans said of Aledo. "They’ve been very supportive."
In return, Impact has done performances at different city events or at venues such as daycares or the library.
This year, Impact will add cheerleading to the current gymnastics and tumbling classes they offer. Clinics for the cheer team will be held on Thursday and again in March, while the tryouts are held in May.
With the addition of cheerleading and more youth joining the gymnastics programs, Evans said she hope they eventually grow out of their current building. But for now she is pleased with their achievements so far.
"It’s a lot of fun and we’ve had a great crowd from Aledo," Evans said. "It’s been a good success so far."