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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Current Beaver, former Wildcat team up to buy Tumbleweeds Gymnastics for undisclosed amount”

    In 1990, the late Kim Bird founded Tumbleweeds Gymnastics and with it, he built a legacy of producing quality gymnasts and gave them the tools to shine on the national stage.

    And now one of his gym’s alumni and one of its rivals have the chance to build upon what Bird started.

    Jamie Holton, a former Arizona Gymcat, and Courtney Dennison, a senior at Oregon State and a Tumbleweeds alumna, purchased the club gym at 1859 W. Grant Road from Bird’s brother, Kevin, for an undisclosed amount and took over the day-by-day
    operations Thursday.

    “”We are both

    The gym used to be such a successful program – not that it’s not now – but in the past they have produced great gymnasts and we have so many great ideas and programs that we want to implement.

    – Jamie Holton,
    former Gymcat

    really, really excited about the opportunity because we both have so many ideas about what we want to do,”” Holton said. “”The gym used to be such a successful program – not that it’s not now – but in the past they have produced great gymnasts and we have so many great ideas and programs that we want to implement.””

    Dennison, who is going to graduate from OSU in June with a degree in early childhood development, is excited about the opportunity to continue the legacy of her late coach.

    “”Kim always talked about that I would come back from college and take over the gym and now that I can do it, it’s awesome,”” Dennison said. “”He means a lot to me, and he was my gymnastics coach and I’m thrilled to be able to come back and take over the gym.””

    Dennison said Kevin Bird originally offered the gym to her after another deal fell through and she contacted Holton to see if she was interested in a partnership.

    For Holton, the deal was too good to pass up.

    “”I’ve always been interested in owning a gym myself someday,”” she said. “”I had known Kim Bird because I had been a competitive gymnast in Phoenix and he had been a judge for a lot of my events. I knew what kind of business he ran and I liked what he taught the girls and how he taught them.””

    Added Holton: “”Courtney was a Tumbleweeds gymnast herself so I have known her for probably 10 years now, and we’ve always had that same dream of wanting to start a gym and running it our own way and we want to get to the same success that we have had.””

    Since Holton arrived on the UA campus five years ago as a walk-on, UA gymnastics head coach Bill Ryden knew that she was something special.

    “”I’ve trained a number of girls and you can always tell the girls who were meant to be coaches and the girls who weren’t,”” Ryden said. “”Even some of the best gymnasts aren’t meant to be coaches because of their mentality. But without a doubt, Jamie Holton was meant to be a coach.

    “”For lack of a more flattering term, she is a gym rat,”” he added. “”She loves her sport, loves everything about, even the politics – all the negative things that come with it. And she’ll definitely make a positive contribution to the gymnastics.””

    Ryden said Holton was always asking questions, always trying to get better and he expects her to bring an “”upper-level look to Tucson gymnastics.””

    “”The worst gymnastics coach is someone who has to do it – who has to do it to pay the rent,”” he said. “”But the best coach is someone who can do something else but chooses to do it because you are doing it for the right reasons. (Jamie) doesn’t need to be a gymnastics coach, but she chooses to be and that’s part of what is going to make her great.””

    Dennison will be flying down from Oregon on Thursday to take part in the grand opening with Holton on Saturday, when they will be hosting an open gym from 1-3 p.m. They’ll be giving info about summer camps and classes.

    “”I’m really looking forward to it,”” Holton said. “”I’ve had a lot of success in the gym and this is something that I’ve always wanted to do. I want the girls to know that they can go as far as they want to go in gymnastics and we want to help them.””

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