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Story by Lindsey Chester. Photos by Hal Goodtree
Cary, NC- With a new location on NC 55, Team Attraction Gymnastics (TAG for short) opened 6 short weeks ago.
We reported back in December about the closing of Impact Athletic’s Gymnastics team in our story “Team Without a Home”. We were eager to see how they are doing 7 months later.
I spoke with director Cindy Cotten and coach Monica Ward about how they overcame their struggles of the spring competitive season and were able to persevere to open a new facility.
Homeless Competition Season
Back in December, the upper level girls were a nomadic bunch. Monica said she contacted area gyms (Wake Gymnastics in Brier Creek, Artistic in Garner, Apex Gymnastics, and the Raleigh School) who all pitched in with after hours practice space. The team’s upper levels needed to keep training as the “optional season” got under way in January.
Despite the hardships, those that remained with the team pulled off a great showing at the State Championships.
But many gymnasts couldn’t commit to an ever-changing schedule and location, so many of the girls looked elsewhere. A core of 45 gymnasts stuck it out.
Monica and Cindy were working hard to secure permanent space. They partnered with each other, their husbands: Robert Cotten and Brian Ward, and a group of investors to fund the gym. Weeks ago they signed the lease on the new 20,000 square facility and opened their doors the end of May. In a space that was formerly a grocery store, and is currently half-used by Lifestyle Fitness, TAG is upfitting an enormous space that will include 3 separate areas and a team locker room. Currently the front area is used by both the team and recreational gymnastics classes. Cindy said that the plans for the full renovation should be complete within 60-90 days.
Cindy, a gymnastics judge, has guided the design with an eye to hosting competitions. The rec area will be kept separate. The workers have begun to dig the pit and the vault runway is marked off. Next, the floors will go in, walls get finished and the equipment moved.
TAG was able to purchase some of the equipment left at the old Impact site before O2 took over that facility.
Despite their hardships, the coaching staff remained committed to the team and each other. Monica Ward is a partner and Head Competitive Coach, Cindy Cotten is a partner, Director and Team Coach, Jason Parker is a Competitive Team Coach, as are Kristen Dearing and Scott Wilson.
Plans For this Year
Monica said she plans to bid on hosting a meet during the spring season and would like to host the Judge’s Cup this year. The gym will also be the home gym for both Green Hope High School’s and Cary High School’s gymnastics programs.
You get the feeling from speaking with Cindy and Monica that they have come through all of this stronger and able to weather whatever comes their way. Watch out for the new team in Town!