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Austin Andrew Arthur of Winter Garden- God First Gymnastics USA

My brother Zander and I started Gymnastics USA here in Winter Garden, FL several years ago. Our mission has always been to provide a positive and safe environment where families can come together for their children to grow and learn. With the Positive Approach as our rule and guide we strived to serve West Orange well and to soar above all expectations. During this journey we have had many successes and plenty of setbacks too. As with everyone in our community, and indeed our entire country, 2020 has been a very difficult year. 

Many clubs, friends of ours, have had to shut their doors permanently. So many in our community have lost their means of income, including thousands of careers destroyed at Walt Disney World, a place nobody expected would become unsecure.

Not only this but our nation as a whole seems to be divided more than any other time in modern American history. There is so much division, anger, and so many have lost sight of their purpose. Although in our community, here in West Orange, we have done a great job at staying united and supportive of each other during these very turbulent times. However, here at Gymnastics USA as we talked together with the staff about our values and principles… there was still something missing. Zander and I came to realize there was something always missing.

At Gymnastics USA we have always had a policy set that we termed, the “No Go Topics”… these were items that, per policy, staff members were to avoid during conversation with clients and members. It included things like politics, controversial figures, bodily functions, and among others- religion. We now realize this was a mistake.

In an effort to ensure a level of political correctness that is becoming of a successful company… we created a policy that, we believe, is part of a problem within our culture. As of now, we are reversing that policy and officially acknowledging that Gymnastics USA, and all of the Stars and Stripes Management companies, are to be faith-based organizations. We will acknowledge our belief in a God and will seek to serve him well, by serving our communities well.

Now on the face this does change much, we are going to be providing the same service, the same staff, grateful to be serving the same clients. Nobody has to believe in our faith to work for us or to be our client… we are grateful to have on our staff and as clients many faiths- including Muslims, Jews, Christians, and even nonbelievers. As the bible teaches, “our love for others is our humble response to the love God first showed us”.

With this new God First initiative, as a company we will be openly acknowledging and internally discussing our faith-based values and principles. We also plan to create many partnerships with local churches and other faith-based organizations to ensure we are serving our communities in way that serves God. As it has always been, every person in our community- no matter who you are or what you believe, has a home in our facility.

Austin Arthur
Gymnastics USA President & Co-Founder

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