Young gymnasts will be receiving softer landings in Lancaster. That’s because AEP Ohio was one of the local organizations that contributed to the construction of an in-ground pit for the gymnastics program at the YMCA Rec Plex.
The inflatable air pit is a step up from a standard pit that’s filled with foam cubes or balls. Each pit is a safety training tool that allows gymnasts to practice their skills and development with a lessened chance of injury. The inflatable version offers different degrees of firmness that can gradually increase until the surface more closely mimics a standard tumbling surface.
Also, a new cover (colorfully picturing the YMCA logo) not only looks nice but can be removed and washed.
Amber Dille, a work scheduling assistant in Athens, has two daughters who attend the YMCA for gymnastics: Julia (9) and Scarlette (7). She said the quest for an inflatable pit has been a years-long effort, and that the gymnasts and coaches are “beyond excited” with the upgrade.
“This was a huge project for the YMCA’s gymnastics program in Lancaster and the team is very grateful for each and every sponsor, including AEP Ohio,” Dille said. “The addition of the in-ground pit will help take our program to the next level.”
The impact has been immediate: Dille said she has seen her own children get motivated to try new skills and boost their confidence while learning them.
“Julia had to practice a back tuck off the balance beam, and she was terrified,” Dille said. “With the new pit, she wasn’t so scared and was more comfortable practicing. It really opened up her eyes to give it a try.”
Dille has been with AEP Ohio for a little over a year. She said she was proud and thankful to work for a company that was willing to support its employees’ passions and give back to the community.
“I felt honored that AEP Ohio chose to support something that was important to me,” Dille said. “It was an added bonus for working here, and made me feel valued as an employee.”