ThunderFitness gym in York Township caters to kids

Carson Martin, 8, participates in strength exercises at ThunderFitness.
(Photo by Jason Plotkin)


Climb. Crawl. Jump. Kick. Dance. Go!

Those aren’t the typical instructions for a fitness class, but at ThunderFitness, 2808 E. Prospect Road, in York Township, being different is the norm.

ThunderFitness, a new gym that caters to children 7 to 12 years old, uses a program that incorporates fitness, physical education, play and socialization, said owner and program director Cathy Ankeny.

Ankeny, of Manchester Township, began her business because she said it was difficult to find fitness activities – other than organized sports – for her son, Garret, 10.

Sage Richards, 8, participates in a fitness class at ThunderFitness. (Photo by Jason Plotkin)

About two years ago, with help from Garret and his friends, Ankeny started to design the program that would become the children’s fitness facility.

“I did a vision board . . . a large piece of cardboard that was in my living room. I would cut out pieces of equipment from physical education catalogs,” she said.

“Every child who walked into the house would take a marker and circle items that seemed interesting. Many things I thought would be of interest to the kids didn’t necessarily work for them.”

Wendy Durika’s 9-year-old son, Tommy, played soccer and baseball in the past, but the lack of flexibility in team sports made her seek an alternate fitness option for her son.

Cathy Ankeny, center, leads a group of children in a parachute game. (Photo by Jason Plotkin)

ThunderFitness opened in January and holds classes 4:30 to 8:15 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 4:30 to 7 p.m. Fridays. The gym also hosts fitness parties 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays and parents can choose how often their children visit the gym – they don’t have to attend the same class time every night.

“What’s unique about the program is that it is so focused on the kids doing what they find is fun, which keeps them engaged,” said Durika, of Windsor Township. “You don’t find that in organized sports, you don’t find that in other programs. This keeps them engaged and having fun while still being active, which is so important.”

Read the rest of the story at ydr.com.

Brittany Wilson

I'm an Assistant Sports Editor at the Daily Record/Sunday News. I'm a proud Penn State grad and a New Jersey native living on the West Shore. Two of my favorite things are a good book and a long swim -- just not at the same time. Contact me by emailing bwilson@ydr.com or on Twitter @brittanylion.

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1 Response

  1. February 10, 2013

    […] ThunderFitness, a new gym that caters to children 7 to 12 years old, uses a program that incorporates fitness, physical education, play and socialization, said owner and program director Cathy Ankeny. Ankeny, of Manchester …Read more […]

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