Kingsport Times News Sunday, September 21, 2014
TriCityMom

Indoor trampoline parks have kids bouncing, burning off energy

December 16th, 2013 9:21 am by Allison Gray

Indoor trampoline parks have kids bouncing, burning off energy

Indoor trampoline parks are a growing trend and help make exercising fun. (Sky High Sports/MCT)

McClatchy-Tribune

MCT

Cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating, catching up with friends and family... How are going to keep the ball of energy known as your child from bouncing off the walls this holiday season, all while getting everything on your to-do list done?

Unleash them to an indoor bounce park, where they literally can bounce off the walls.

One of the major players in this fun twist on an indoor gym, Sky High Sports, has cushioned trampoline floors and walls, and even a foam pit to jump into. The California-based company has locations in Illinois, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. Special days and times are reserved for kids under 6 years old to come in, as well as time slots dedicated to kids with special needs. And if adults want to test their skills on the trampoline, there also are special times for dodge ball tournaments and “AIRobics” classes.

The trampoline paradise will motivate kids to exercise during winter, a time when they are bubbling over with energy — and you’re inclined to cuddle up inside the warm house. When your kids return to their humble abode, they will be worn out without realizing your subtle trickery because they had fun. It’s a win-win for you and the kids.

“My teen boys and I can go out there and play basketball against each other,” said Jerry Raymond, owner and co-founder of Sky High Sports. “There is really no age limit.”

Raymond started working on Sky High Sports with his brother Ron eight years ago. Now they have 17 locations across the United States.

“I expected we’d do very well, but we did way better than my expectations,” Raymond said.

Raymond was a computer consultant with three teenage sons when he started thinking about something active he and his sons could do together, rather than sitting on the computer all the time.

When he came to his brother Ron with the idea of a trampoline park, he was all for it. Ron was working in printing sales at the time.

The pair went to others with their new idea, and it was rejected over and over again. But when Sky High Sports saw success, suddenly his critics regretted their prior judgment.

Now Raymond serves as the Vice Chair of the International Association of Trampoline Parks, where he has quarterly face-to-face meetings and phone conferences every week. Americans, Australians, Canadians and Europeans all take part in the association, though not all of the participating countries have trampoline parks yet.

Sky High Sports considers other trampoline parks such as Sky Zone and Flight, “friendly competitors,” given he’s met most of the higher ups in the business, Raymond said.

Though Raymond’s wife is afraid of heights and won’t be jumping on the trampolines any time soon, he said that the trampoline park has brought their family closer.

“You see your kids go out and play for an hour, their shirt is dripping in sweat, and it makes you feel good, like I did my job as a parent today,” he said.

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GET OUT AND JUMP

Find a park near you:

— Sky High Sports: http://www.jumpskyhigh.com/

— Sky Zone: http://www.skyzone.com/

— Flight Trampoline Park: http://flighttrampolinepark.com/

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