Missy Swicord not only likes to think of herself as a people person, but she also enjoys helping people, whether she works day to day as a banker or as a trainer at the gym she proudly owns, Lake Country Gymnastics & All Stars.
The former All-American gymnast and member of the Georgia College Athletic Hall of Fame came to Milledgeville from Charleston, SC, where Swicord grew up.
While in Charleston, she came to Milledgeville when she was younger to do gymnastics camps. When the time came, despite college offers from western schools, Swicord and a teammate decided to come to Georgia College. According to Swicord, they started seeing the phrase “Lake Country” popping up everywhere. When she finally decided to open her own gym in 2009, this phrase came to mind and made perfect sense as a name.
Lake Country Gymnastics & All Stars is coming off of some pretty interesting beginnings. When Swicord was inducted into the Georgia College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008, it was publicized, leading many of her bank clients to realize she was a gymnast. According to Swicord, they started asking her why she hadn’t opened a gym. Also, Swicord’s daughter was a young gymnast at the time. These two key factors played a role in Swicord’s decision to open their own gym.
Lake Country Gymnastics & All Stars offers several classes and programs for children. There are gymnastics, cheer/tumble and special training classes, which start at different ages. Gymnastics classes, in particular, start at 18 months of age for those who might be more interested in that aspect of the gym. There are coaches at each stage. Swicord pointed out that they do a great job of balancing the workout and making things fun for the kids.
Students who excel or show potential for competitive level gymnastics are also encouraged to join the competitive team when coaches deem it appropriate. Also available is the All-Star Cheer Training Program, which provides training for cheerleaders without the commitment of contracts or competitions. A fairly new addition in terms of programs is the after-school program. The Lake Country after-school program selects student-athletes from all schools and gives them an hour for tutoring and homework, then work and play time in the gym. During this time, children are active with a designated trainer and they can use any number of items such as the safe, bar sets and balance beams. There is also a 20-by-30-foot pit that is 12 feet deep and has a trampoline bottom. Don’t worry, the pit is also filled with foam cubes for a safe landing zone.
As you can imagine, the pit is very popular with children attending every class/program and birthday parties that can be booked at Lake Country.
Recreational classes start at a price of $50 to $60 per month, while team classes start at $100 to $200 per month. There are discounts for additional classes to be added, as well as family discounts for those with more than one child in a program. From 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, there is a gym open, where anyone can come and use the facility for $15.
Lake Country also hosts a summer camp where children can participate in activities that are both physical and fun.
What Swicord enjoys most about running the gym is undoubtedly the relationships she has been able to establish with the children she coaches.
“Being that person they look up to, who they value their friendship with. Even when we have bad practices, we sit down as a group and talk about them. We talk about the bad practices and explain why it was bad and how we can improve,” she said. “It’s just the feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference in a child’s life, even if it was just an hour a week.”