Name: Jennifer Burke, Owner
Gym: Burke’s Tumbling Academy (BTA)
Location: Swampscott, MA
Founded: 2004 for tumbling; cheer added in 2010
Size: 300 students; 80 cheerleaders
The best part of owning my gym is watching the athletes improve on their skills, have fun and fulfill their dreams. Also, I love watching the younger kids fall in love with the sport. Tumbling has always been my favorite part of cheer, so I serve as the head tumbling instructor at BTA. I consciously am not a head coach of any specific team—I enjoy working with all of them!
One of the biggest challenges is having cheerleaders from other gyms coming to me to improve their tumbling skills. That’s often frowned upon by their own coaches. However, nothing makes me happier than seeing these young ladies out there in different uniforms, accomplishing their individual and team goals. My advice to other gym owners is that this is about people, not places.
Also, being a young gym owner has its challenges. My personal goals are to have satisfied athletes that continue to develop. The high expectation in this sport for winning by the coaches, parents and athletes is important to a gym’s success. However, for me personally, sometimes this collides with my own goals, so it’s all about striking a balance.
Watch this Patch.com video featuring Jennifer and BTA!
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