TYLER — In 1969 Kathy and Dwight Parsley opened the doors of Cherokee Gym (now Texas East Kids) in Jacksonville, Texas. Kathy began teaching twirling, then gymnastics for girls; soon her husband, Dwight, realized that school age boys needed a physical outlet in the summer time as well and began teaching boys gymnastics. Eventually adult fitness also became a part of Cherokee Gym as well as preschool academy and competitive girls team gymnastics.
Programs grew, buildings were expanded, programs grew again, new buildings were purchased, programs expanded, buildings were built, satellite programs began, programs continued to grow and finally Cherokee Gym moved to Tyler in 1992, becoming Texas East Gymnastics. Since being inTyler, TEG outgrew two buildings and expanded their coaching into soccer, ninja, kinder prep, summer camps and piano, thus becoming Texas East Kids. Texas East Kids was officially handed down to Kathy and Dwight's children, Martin (and wife Stacy) and Marlynne in 2013.
To honor the past 50 years and recognize its successes, TEK will be having a 50th Anniversary Celebration this August 2-3. Friday evening will host an alumni “meet and greet” at the Work Hub in Tyler, Saturday morning will host a fun, outdoor obstacle course for kids at the Deerbrook Dr. facilities (corner of Grande and Paluxy). Gymnastics exhibitions will take place by current competitive girls and boys and then there will be an opportunity for youngsters to turn a flip, shoot a ball and run up the warped wall. The whole weekend will be capped off Saturday evening with a Gala Celebration at Whitehouse High School Auditorium featuring video clips, performances, special recognitions and speakers.
Information and updates regarding the Cherokee Gym/Texas East Kids 50th Anniversary Celebration can be found on Texas East Kids’ website and Instagram, and you can also get on an email list by emailing email@example.com