Since 1968, the Manning family has been teaching kids how to tumble, leap and balance at an award-winning level. Now it’s time for one of their pupils to take the reins.
Terese Tompkins has coached gymnastics and similar sports since she was 15 years old. She also has been the owner of Full Force Cheer in El Campo for 14 years and is expanding her business into Victoria by buying Manning Gymnastics Centerplex, 5004 John Stockbauer Drive, and changing it to Full Force Victoria.
Jamie Manning Payne said she decided to sell the business because she thought she should start spending more time with her kids and grandkids. Selling to someone who Payne has known for years was also a large part of the decision.
“(Terese) has worked for me, and I know she loves kids as well,” Payne said. “It’ll be in good hands.”
Ensuring support for the gym’s employees and existing programs was another factor for Payne.
Throughout the three-month pandemic closures, Manning Gymnastics employees were still paid. Payne wanted to make sure the gym was sold to someone who would retain those employees while still making the tumbling, gymnastics and trampoline programs available to the people of Victoria.
Seeing multiple generations of a family come through the various programs was one of the highlights for Payne.
The excellence achieved by some of those athletes, like reaching the USA National Team for gymnastics, is a goal Tompkins plans to meet under her leadership.
After years of coaching in Victoria and now El Campo, that excellence will be coupled with her addition of boys’ agility and conditioning classes while she continues to offer all the programs that have been available before.
“We really will miss all the athletes,” Payne said. “They’re our family.”
The full conversion to new ownership is expected to be done by Nov. 1, but it also might occur sometime later in November.