From its humble beginning in Jacksonville in 1969, and for each year since, Texas East Gymnastics (TEG) has offered a level of training that has ranked the facility not only among the best in Texas, but the nation as well.
On Feb. 8 the Parsley family, Dwight, Kathy, Marlynne (Finch), Martin and Stacy (nee Panfil) officially opened their new facility on Deerbrook Drive in southeast Tyler that will insure both aspiring and recreational gymnasts will continue to have spacious and top-flight training facilities for many years to come.
The success of TEG made for tight quarters in its previous location, which the Parsleys opened about 22 years ago, and made the timing right for a new complex, which is conveniently located right across the street from the old one.
“We have been limited in the past,” Dwight Parsley said. “Our numbers have been growing, but our facility stayed the same and that wasn't good.
“So we knew that it was the appropriate time to build the new building, which will enable us to serve twice as many students. Hopefully our parents and students will realize that we are offering an even better program with the room that we have in the new facility and the new equipment that we have.”
“Twenty years ago our old facility was considered state-of-the-art and was as good as there was out there,” Martin Parsley said. “Twenty years later Tyler and East Texas are different and gymnastics are different, too, so we wanted to respond to those changes.”
Among the amenities sported by the new TEG gym is a huge pre-school training area, a much larger main gym that has separate areas for competition and recreational gymnasts, several observation areas for parents and family members to watch training sessions comfortably and a nice-sized space dedicated to birthday parties.
Dwight Parsley said that some of the features of the old complex were incorporated into the new one to mesh with many brand new ideas, complete with all the bells and whistles.
“We took the good things from the old facility and added in the things that we wanted the new facility to have,” the Parsley family patriotic stated.
The old TEG gym will now be used for baton twirling, dance and cheerleading classes, with all gymnastics related activities housed in the new building.
“It will be an even busier area around here, with both of the buildings up and running,” Dwight Parsley said.
While doubling the size and the amount of equipment, the Parsleys did not overlook one critical element that is central to all sports — safety and the prevention of injuries.
“When you learn to do a double back (flip) you have to have something really orthopedic to land on to prevent injuries,” Martin Parsley said. “The safety-related things that we have outfitted the new facility with will make learning faster and a lot safer and more progressive,” Martin Parsley said.
The new TEG gym has a top-of-the-line competition floor that was build with safety in mind as well as in ground landing pits fitted with cotton-soft foam blocks and pads — the safest materials on the market.
Martin Parsley said that he believes the new facility will enable as many as 15-18 “high level” gymnasts to call the complex home.
“Three years ago we were the No. 6 womens private club gymnastics school in the United States and we had just six girls,” Martin Parsley said. “I know of (one top gym) in the Dallas area that has 25-30 high level gymnasts training there.”
TEG, which has a staff of 28 individuals, draws students from not only Tyler, but from Jacksonville, Rusk, Bullard, Lindale, Whitehouse, Arp and even as far away as Longview and Nacogdoches, making it truly a regional gymnastics mecca.
The Parsley family has over 145 years (combined) of experience in coaching and teaching gymnastics.
TEG is a USA Gymnastics certified Junior Olympic National Team Training Center.
The facility offers per-school gymnastics, boys gymnastics, girls gymnastics, pre-team, competitive team and an advanced performance team,
In addition, TEG is home to the Rose Capital Allstars Competitive Cheer squads.
Cheerleading and tumbling classes are also offered as are dance acro and dance squad lessons.