Hopes and Dreams Gymnastics in Springdale is flying high these days.
One of their gymnasts, Amanda Dickerson, just received a scholarship to Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas.
That scholarship didn’t come without dedication. Many kids that want to be elite in gymnastics have to put in 5-6 hours per day of training.
For Amanda Dickerson that meant home schooling for the last few years.
“You couldn’t do it either way. I just made the choice. I was in high school for two years, but I wanted to be here more. So I think you can do it either way as long as you work hard and keep pushing yourself,” said Amanda.
After many hours at the gym Amanda finally reached elite status.
Most kids will improve in direct proportion to how much time they spend in the gym, but only a select few have the drive and determination to reach elite status.
The man responsible for her success: Coach John Davis. He runs Hopes and Dreams Gymnastics along with his wife.
Coach Davis says Amanda put in the hard work, and now her ‘hopes and dreams’ are coming true.
“She never took no for answer. She’s had injuries that have pulled her out of competition season and missed meets or different things. Most kids would have stopped and given up. She never stopped.”
Davis says the key to success is practice.
“With the teams in Texas and other places like California. In order to be competitive with those teams you have to get the hours.”
Many kids, like Amanda, have also given up public school to compete. Davis says its determination that helps the athletes get through.
“These kids have been able to give up going to public school because they have big goals they want to accomplish.”
Some of the kids in this gym are already ranked nationally in their age group.
If they keep working hard, maybe there’s another Amanda, or perhaps a Gabby Douglass Gold Medal girl in the making.