By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
Bristol Family Center Gymnastics, a program made available through the Bristol Boys and Girls Club, hosted a rebranding event on Wednesday, March 14, to celebrate their new name; Bristol Future Champions Gymnastics.
“The gymnastics program looked like it might be going out of business, we only had about 80 or 90 kids attending, we were really struggling financially, we didn’t have a place to go,” said Michael Suchopar, president and CEO of the Bristol Boys and Girls Club. “We’ve gone from 80 to 90 kids to about 450 that we serve right now, that’s probably one of the biggest gymnastics programs in the state, and we never anticipated the success that we would have here.”
Jessica Morelli is the recreational director and head coach of the AAU traveling team.
“This year, our CPO Michael Suchopar, granted us permission to change the name,” explained Morelli. “We kind of kept the ‘Bristol FCG’ acronym, but we changed it to Bristol Future Champions Gymnastics.”
Morelli explained the program was called Family Center Gymnastics because the former location was the Family Center. Five years ago, the gym changed locations, and Morelli said they had wanted to change the name ever since.
“It was very important that we kept ‘Bristol FCG’ as a part of the name because that’s what we’ve been known for, and we kind of made our reputation as Bristol FCG,” said Morelli. “It was pretty challenging trying to figure out some great words that kept the ‘FC’, so, after a whole bunch of trial and error, and asking for everyone’s opinion, we came up with Future Champion.”
The new logo for the gym was designed by FCG parent, Eddie Hollenbeck, of Flapjack Agency.
“When we first started this project and brought me in, and had these meetings about what the brand was and what it meant; the passion and the effort that you guys put into you gymnastics and your training and practice, was really the central thing that we all talked about,” said Hollenbeck. “And so, when we started brainstorming, parents sent in different suggestions for naming, the ‘Future Champions’ really just stuck out, and I think the more we kept looking at other options, we just kept coming back to that. And really, because it’s a reflection of what you guys [athletes] do and the effort that you put into it.”
Morelli said there are about 400 participants in the gymnastics program, ranging from 15 months to 18 years of age.
Alena Hauer is a senior at St. Paul High School and she’s been a gymnast for 15 years. She will be graduating for the FCG program this year.
“My favorite part about gymnastics is definitely the feeling of flipping through the air because not many people can do that, so it’s something really unique to the sport,” said Hauer.
Halle, 11, has been a gymnast for five years and said that her favorite part is competing. Emma, 11, has been a gymnast for five years and said that she enjoys being able to have fun and hang out with her friends. Camryn, 13, said being a gymnast for the past 10 years has brought her a lot of joy. Elayna, 12, has been a gymnast for two years said it’s “really fun and she likes the coaches a lot” and that her favorite part of gymnastics is the bars.