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Gymnastics celebration planned

Children at the Triple T Sports Center play in the gym’s tumble bus, which will be at the gym’s National Gymnastics Day celebration on Saturday. All proceeds from the event go to the Children’s Miracle Network.

Gymnastics is more than cartwheels and somersaults.

It can help create a strong foundation of strength, agility and balance for an athlete, and in many cases help in the recovery of a child suffering from a disease or injury.

To celebrate the importance of gymnastics to children and athletes around the nation, Suffolk’s Triple T Sports Center will celebrate National Gymnastics Day on Saturday, with all proceeds going to the Children’s Miracle Network.

“Our program is about making healthy children,” said Tyrone Burks, owner of Triple T Sports Center. “We feel if we’re going to help an organization, it should be one that helps children. Their job is to heal them up and teach them how to walk again. We pick up where they left off by teaching them to run and play. We have children here who go to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, some with disabilities and some who were born premature.”

The celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the gymnastics center, located at 619 East Constance Rd. An activities wristband that gives kids full access to a variety of daylong activities costs $5.

The event will include exhibitions, bounce houses, the tumble bus, miniature golf, foam pit time, trampolines and games.

The gym also plans a sleepover and pizza night for students on Friday evening. The cost is $20, and all proceeds go to the network.

Children from the gym have been busy collecting donations and pledges for Saturday’s activities.

“Cheerleaders will be doing jumps, kids will be doing cartwheels, karate students will be doing kicks, dancers will be doing twirls,” Burks said. “They’ll all be doing different things throughout the day.”

Burks and the sports center have been celebrating National Gymnastics Day by donating to the Children’s Miracle Network for the past eight years.

“We’ve seen how gymnastics and what we do can help children,” Burks said. “We had a 4-year-old come in whose doctor said he was significantly behind in his motor skills. A year later, after being with us, he was far ahead. There are things we do here that improve the agility, power and strength of a child at any age.”

For more information about Saturday’s event, call 923-5150.