Knepper is new YMCA Gymnast Director
There is a new gymnastics director at the Austin YMCA as Guy Knepper will lead classes on the sport for all ages.
"Our program ages range from 1-2 with parents up to an adult," Knepper said. "I don't have it in our program yet, but will soon have an adult gymnastics class as an alternative to your typical exercise class."
Knepper has been coaching gymnastics for the last 18 years at different levels. He was the YMCA Gymnastics Director in Chillicothe, Missouri, for six years and also held that position in Savannah, Georgia.
"I started out with a local Parks and Recreation program in the St. Louis area where I'm from," Knepper said. "This early experience led me to the YMCA part-time and later on full-time.
"I'm recently coming out of the private club setting of gymnastics and back into the YMCA. Along the way, part-time and full-time, this is the sixth YMCA I have worked for. Glad to
be here in Austin."
The new director wants to see that gymnastics instruction can be offered to everyone. Gymnastics is a popular sport because it can increase flexibility and agility.
Knepper's program at the YMCA will be divided into four separate departments. There will be Children's Gymnastics, Progressive Gymnastics, Competitive Gymnastics, and Specialty Gymnastics.
"Our competitive program has a new identity as the Angels," the new director said. "The team
didn't have a team name or team colors. Our new team look is red, white, and black."
Austin YMCA gymnastics program is based on the National YMCA Progressive Gymnastics Program and the USA Junior Olympic Gymnastics Program. It's designed for gymnasts to have fun while learning life time skills such as goal setting, safety, self-discipline, and self-confidence.
"My biggest focus is to develop a program where our gymnasts and their families have choices and options," Knepper said. "Gymnastics can be a real intense sport and sometimes you can give it too much or not give it a lot of time. We just need to make sure there's a good balance for the kids and their families as too how much time they would like to spend in the sport."
Knepper is also coordinating practice time with coach Mark Raymond and the Austin High Gymnastics program. The new director will be working on a series of group private lessons for the Packers, who have their home meets at the Austin YMCA.