After all the hard work The Little Gym Europe is proud to announce the opening of its newest UK location in Godalming on 1 November and the team are ready for all the children to jump, flip and tumble their way to some Serious Fun.
Owner Clea Rosenfeld tells her The Little Gym Story
Years before I even realised running my own The Little Gym was a possibility, I’d already seen its benefits.
My son, Luca, was 18 months old. He’d started walking by about 14 months, he was alert and interested in the world around him and busy doing all the things little boys do.
I first brought him to my local The Little Gym because I’d always been a big believer that a sound mind starts with a sound body. I’m not quite sure what I expected the results to be, but I’m certain I didn’t except them to be quite so profound, quite so quickly.
I’ve often described the acceleration he got from The Little Gym – athletic, cognitive, social and behavioural – as uncanny. That may not be the most scientific of assessments (especially from someone with a background in children’s cognitive health) but that’s really the only way I can describe it. Uncanny, and magical to watch.
The Little Gym. The Big Difference
By the time he started attending school for a few mornings a week at the age of 3, Luca was sitting upright on his chair, full of confidence and attentiveness. He was raising his hand to ask and answer questions, waiting for his turn, listening to instructions. He knew how to hold his pen, knew how to start a conversation, knew how to make friends.
With these building blocks in place courtesy of The Little Gym, he was able to progress so much faster at school, because he wasn’t having to expend energy on mastering these skills; he already had them.
Ah, you might say, but who’s to say he wouldn’t have developed them that quickly anyway? That would be a fair point, but for the fact that since then I’ve met lots of other The Little Gym franchise owners and – without exception - they’re all former members who saw similar transformations in their own children.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind a little.
“Mummy, do you have to go?”
I worked for a pharma company specialising in enzyme replacement treatments for rare diseases. What we did was astonishing. I’d wake every day knowing that today we could transform a child’s quality of life, their lifespan, or the opportunities they were able to seize. It was a wonderful thing to be a part of, but it came at a personal cost.
I was a single mum spending lots of time living out of hotel rooms as I travelled the world for my job. Initially, I was able to leave Luca with a nanny safe in the knowledge that he was well cared for, even if I was wracked with guilt.
By the time he was able to say, “Mummy, do you have to go?” I’d barely be able to keep it together long enough to leave the house without sobbing. Eventually I just couldn’t continue, so I began looking for something else – something that would keep me much closer to home.
I knew I wanted to continue working with children. I loved them (and they seemed to like me!) and I knew I wanted to feel as though I was making a difference. Then I remembered the difference the The Little Gym had made to Luca.
They had it so right. They still do. And when a little research revealed they were a franchise, there was no hesitation.
New Openings 2017
Alongside this new opening in the UK, The Little Gym Europe has also opened in Wemmel in Belgium (April 2017), Sofia in Bulgaria (April 2017) and Moscow (August 2017).
About The Little Gym
The Little Gym is an internationally recognized physical program that helps children build the developmental skills and confidence needed at each stage of childhood.
The very first location was established in 1976 by Robin Wes, an innovative educator with a genuine love for children. Today, The Little Gym International has more than 350 locations in 32 countries.