Kauai Gymnastics Academy (KGA) is proud to be the only fully equipped gymnastics facility on the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai. It is co-owned and operated by Jack Leonard, formerly of Hill’s Gymnastics Training Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and his wife Kay.
At KGA we live the USA Gymnastics mantra: Begin Here. Go Anywhere. We believe that gymnastics is the jumping off point for many sports, activities, and simply getting through life with a fit lifestyle.
Our philosophy is to assist each person to reach their potential, with respect to their goals. We strive to be positive role-model leaders, and to bring out the best in each individual within the realms of physical, mental, emotional and social development. Safety, fun and skill-acquisition are the keys we use to achieve these goals and to make KGA a wonderful environment for children! Our coaches/instructors must meet or exceed these goals.
At KGA, we strive to convey our passion for gymnastics in an appropriate age-specific manner. We believe that each child learns at a different rate and that success is marked in small steps not big leaps. We also believe that the best coaches know how to break a trick down more ways than someone else, so if saying it ONE way isn’t getting the message across, then we need to come up with a different way to convey it. We also believe that it’s OKAY to make mistakes! What we don’t want them to do is to make the same mistake over and over again, which could mean they are just learning it wrong. We encourage them to try something different to fix the trick and that’s why we work hard to be able to explain it different ways. Last, but definitely not least, we want kids to have FUN! The gymnastics, fitness, self-confidence, discipline, strength, purpose, flexibility, and balance will come along for the ride.
KGA is located in the Puhi Industrial Park, Lihue, HI. After operating in a very small space for 5 years, in Fall 2010, we moved into a new, much larger facility with a new 42′ x 42′ spring floor system and a 32′ Air4Tumble track! Other equipment includes many different sizes/types of beams including an Elite level beam (new in 2014), a TrampTrak with a 10 x 10 bed, two sets of bars, a set of stall bars, four different sizes of back handspring trainers including the latest back handspring trainer — The BoulderTMHandspring Trainer — a handstand trainer for bars, a pommel horse trainer, a mushroom trainer, a leg stretching device, miscellaneous cheese and other mats, and a wall of mirrors. We have a strap bar that changes out with the high bar every few weeks and we have a foam-style vault for ultimate equipment flexibility. We also have areas designed for parents to watch and where siblings and early arrivals can play with toys. NEW ADDITION: a horizontal peg wall above a soft handstand wall and brand new AAI bars! (Scroll down for a video tour)
We invite you to look at the schedule for our class listings. Our classes include Parent & Tots classes for ages 1 &2, recreational gymnastics for ages 3 to 17, and tumbling and back handsprings for Cheerleaders. We also have three non-competitive teams. We also have Kauai Ninja Warriors, plus “Wave Flips” classes that are for “boys-only!” Tumblers can drop in on Wednesdays at 6:15 for our Tumbling Class.
Take a Video Tour!
Head Coach / Co-Owner
Jack has over 50 years of experience teaching physical education and coaching gymnastics. He’s a past 9-time National Champion who graduated with a degree in education from The Ohio State University where he was also a Cheerleader. He has coached all levels from 3-year old beginners to Olympians, earning two National High School Coach of the Year Awards (once for men; once for women). He was assistant coach of 3-time Olympian Dominique Dawes. He also ran a success after-school gymnastics program called Jack Leonard Gymnastics (JLG). At its peak, JLG taught gymnastics and fitness to over 300 kids a week. Jack brings his depth of personal gymnastics experience to bear on how he coaches every gymnast to succeed. To see a longer history/bio about Jack, just ask for his long bio.
Jack’s philosophy is to break down a trick into many, many parts so it can be more easily understood and executed. He’s an expert at being able to assess where a trick is going wrong and convey it to the gymnast so they can fix it.
Head Administrator / Co-Owner
Kay’s path to gymnastics was a little different than Jack’s. Before Jack and Kay were married, Jack was the gymnastics coach of Kay’s son, who was in Junior High (now called Middle School) at the time. Two of her daughters were also in gymnastics — one took classes with Marge and Greg Weiss (the parents of Michael Weiss, the skater) and the other was on a team coached by Jack (Rockville H.S. Varsity). Jack and Kay were married in 1983. Her four children were teenagers. Jack had just started Jack Leonard Gymnastics, so Kay became the “behind-the-scenes” administrator while she worked full time as E.V.P./General Manager of a medium-sized video production/multimedia and satellite telecommunications company based in Virginia. After 19 years with that company and 25 years in the business, Kay “retired” to work from home as a satellite communications, a/v coordinator, and marketing consultant under the moniker of “Lagniappe Services” (it means “a little extra”). She started coaching with Jack at JLG and continues to do so at Kauai Gymnastics, coaching Tots through Advanced Beginners. Her many years of ballet as a child come in mighty handy! Believe it or not, she also was in a Hula Troupe (in MD) when she was 10! Besides coaching, Kay is the “Paperwork Queen” at KGA. She is also a Home Stager and is the top sales person selling real estate through Aloha Island Properties (contact firstname.lastname@example.org). Her own website is www.alohabuyers.com. Kay and Jack have 8 grandchildren, 2 of whom live on Kauai.
Tristana worked at KGA for a short time at the end of 2008 and we welcomed her back permanently in 2009. She has a strong background in dance, which she applies to all the floor choreography. She is in charge of the Parent and Tots classes and teaches various other classes/levels. Besides her background in many forms of dance, she was a competitive gymnast and she worked for North Shore Gymnastics Academy, Kauai (the KGA predecessor) and Dynamic Gymnastics in Spokane before coming here. She’s the proud mom of Tessa, who attends Koloa Elementary. Coach Tristana is National Safety Certified.
Lani grew up at KGA. She was a past Kula Hui member and Assistant Coach and then Coach. She moved to San Diego and then Portland in 2010, where she worked at several gyms. She returned in 2011 and is our Hoku Hui Head Coach. She also teaches many of our classes and gives private lessons. She also adds her creative touch to our gym camps. Lani still has the “get more tricks” bug, so you will often see her working out when she isn’t teaching. Coach Lani is National Safety Certified.
Coach Carolyn was a High School gymnast and is a mother of two. She also happens to be our daughter! We are lucky to have her as a backup when the need arises. She always has something positive to say to a gymnast to keep them on track to get better!
Coach Lucia is BACK! Lucia coached for us starting in 2008. She was with us about 3 years and then went off to finish college. Her love of working with the keiki is self-evident. She is a past gymnast herself and is continuously learning new things to help her students. She recently became National Safety Certified. Lucia teaches Tots through Advanced Beginners. We are happy to welcome her back!
Coach Angela is the gymnast in the back row on the right. She graduated from Kauai H.S. and is attending KCC. She, along with the others in the photo, competed in Las Vegas at the AAU meet in March 2016 and 2017.
Angela was on our highest level team — Kula — and has worked as an assistant coach for several years. She is Iki Hui Head Coach and a class coach. She loves helping keiki hone their skills. She’s patient and positive! We’re happy to still have her in the gym!