Youth gymnastics center in Missouri City sends classes into parking lot for social distancing safety

MISSOURI CITY, Texas -- In a world that's gone dark and shuttered, there's life at Olympia Gymnastics in Missouri City.

"She's excited to be here and getting to tumble and getting to dance," parent Kimberly Clark said.

When shut down orders went into effect in Fort Bend County, Olympia complied and closed the 30,000 square foot facility. When Governor Greg Abbott announced businesses could re-open, the staff put their heads together and found a way to be fun and safe.

"We had a lot of our parents reach out to us and ask us if we were going to be offering anything, so we got together on Zoom with my staff and started to put together some creative ideas and we said 'you know what, we have a huge parking lot with lots of equipment. We can really space these kids out outside,'" owner Brett Dodd said.

That's exactly what they did.

Each child has their own separate workout area and mat, which is sanitized between each use. They're working on a hands-off four to one instructor to participant ratio, and so far, it's working out beautifully.

What's even better? Parents are allowed to monitor from a distance.

"I'm able to watch my kids enjoy themselves. They're more than six feet apart," parent Miguel Juarez said.

"This is great because it gets them out of the house, and the way they have it set up with the barriers - 10 feet across, not six feet across. This is the best," Clark said.

Right now, Olympia is holding class three days a week, and has staggered pick up and drop off times, so kids don't have to wait next to each other. Dodd said it's the least they can do.

"We want to try to do our part and keeping kids active, since they're at home doing school," he said.