A Norfolk County woman has asked Mike Holmes to help her transform a warehouse into a fully accessible gymnastics space.
Teagan Fitch has always dreamed of owning her own gymnastics gym, and she is getting closer to that goal every day. Her most recent step forward was leasing a warehouse in Simcoe and auditioning for a Mike Holmes television show to help transform the space.
The show, Make It Right with Mike Holmes, is looking for millennials that are hoping to make a difference in their community.
“My goal is to fill the gap in special needs programming in our community,” the 22-year-old said. “We don’t have a lot of programming other than Reach.”
The application process included creating two videos to tell Holmes about the space and the difference the upgrades would make in the community.
Fitch has completed her application and it is now just a waiting game for her.
The gymnast has been active in the sport since she was three, and has competed at the provincial level.
“I’m not even sure she was a teenager yet when she told us she was going to open her own gymnastics gym,” said Sherri Fitch, Teagan’s mom, in the application video. “She’s certainly ready with the knowledge to fulfill her dream.”
Fitch left Norfolk County to pursue her post-secondary education. After receiving her undergrad in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a minor in Child and Youth Studies at Brock University she went on to complete a postgraduate in Autism and Behavioural Science at Niagara College.
When she returned she knew she needed to combine her love of gymnastics with her passion of working with children with special needs.
“Once I started working with kids with special needs I noticed how therapeutic gymnastics can be,” said Fitch. “It helps a lot in their personal life too.”
The equipment budget of $40,000 will allow her to purchase the bare minimum of what is required to run a gymnastics facility. Along with that she has a $20,000 renovation budget to make the space accessible and heated.
“She deserves this more than anyone I know,” Tina Swarts said in the application video. “Any child who walks through that door is going to be given an equal opportunity, which is what they all deserve.”
Fitch does respite with Swarts’ son, Isaijah Swarts, also featured in the video.
Ryan Bonin, owner of 519films, donated his time and resources to Fitch to help her create professional videos to use as her audition tapes. The videos used in her application can be viewed on her Facebook page, Spectrum Gymnastics.
She plans on beginning her renovations in February, regardless of whether she is chosen or not. The season of the show will include 18 episodes, each featuring a different individual.
Fitch said she would love if community members would be willing to help with renovations or provide donations towards the cause.
Registration for programming will open in March, and will begin on May 1. There will be classes and programs available for community members of all ages and abilities.