American Kids Sports Center

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Profile appeared in our 33-1 Issue – April 2016

When Sheri Williams graduated from CSU Fullerton with her degree in Physical Education, she had dreams of owning her own gymnastics club. Still, when she was hired by a newly opened club called American Academy of Gymnastics, it wasn’t a given that she would one day own it. However, after working there for just a few short months and after marrying her sweetheart, Mike, that is exactly what transpired.

 

The first team from 1984 taking 8th at state, 1986

The first team from 1984 taking 8th at state, 1986

Now operating under the name American Kids Sports Center, this innovative duo has changed the face of what gymnasiums have to offer both children and their parents on a local level. “We started out in a little, seven-thousand square-foot facility, in 1984” Mike began. “Around 1997, we built our own ‘huge’ 15,000 sq. ft. gymnastics facility on Bowman Ct. At that time, it was one of the largest gymnastics facilities in California and we were worried that we made it too big!” Little did they know at that time that within the span of about a decade, they would be searching to find an even bigger space to meet their clients’ needs!

This was when the company would experience another big milestone in their years of business: the construction and subsequent opening of their largest, most comprehensive location yet. At an incredible 40,000 square feet, the building on Allen Road brought something more than just extra space.

“We changed the format, and name, of the whole company to be a one-stop mall for sports,” he explained. “At our Bowman Ct. facility, we would see parents scrambling to drop a kid off only to rush off to take another child to dance, swim, or martial arts. By then we realized that the experience we had been offering our families in gymnastics could all be applied to swim classes, taekwondo, dance, cheerleading, preschool education, and more, to make it easier on parents. We wanted a place where parents can go with three different kids and do three different activities possibly all at the same time.” Not only that, but there is free wifi, a cardio room, and a cafe for the parents.

Grand opening of the second location, 1987

Grand opening of the second location, 1987

And family is still key in the daily operations. The Williams’ grown children, Matt and Michelle, are also a big part of American Kids. Matt is responsible for overseeing the SW location on Ride St. (added in 2008), and Michelle is the director of the learn-to-swim program American Splash at the NW facility.

Their vision to honor families with stellar customer service while providing world-class instruction for children has only grown over the years. Serving up to 5,000 children overall at any given time can seem overwhelming but staff makes sure each child gets individual attention while learning the importance of responsibility, teamwork, dedication, and striving for excellence. These are values that will surely stick with them for a lifetime, and will always be a part of the business model so long as the Williams family are at the helm. They are truly committed to their message of “Building Healthy Kids Since 1984.”

 

3622 Allen Road, Bakersfield CA   |   661-833-3986

www.aksc.com

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