It's Your Business: Gymnastics center on the way

Two former gymnastics coaches for the Champaign County YMCA plan to open a new gymnastics center at Country Fair Shopping Center in Champaign.

Champaign Gymnastics Academy expects to open in late August or early September at 219 S. Mattis Ave. — the interior corner of the L-shaped shopping center.

Ian Dennehy, who was head coach for the boys' gymnastics team at the Y, is owner of the new academy, along with his dad, Michael.

Casey Horberg, who coached the girls' gymnastics team at the Y, will be the academy's competitive gymnastics director and head coach for its girls' team.

Also working there will be Luke Stannard, a former University of Illinois gymnast who will be the girls' assistant coach and a recreational gymnastics instructor. Stannard was an All-American in the pommel horse and won the College Gymnastics Association's 2010 Nissen Emery Award.

The academy will offer classes for infants through adults. Those include

— Early-development classes for kids 3 months old to a year old.

— Parent-assisted gymnastics classes for kids from 1 to 3 years old.

— Recreational classes for kids from 3 to 18 years old.

— Recreational classes for adults 19 and older.

Plus, the academy plans to offer cheerleading and tumbling classes, as well as birthday parties with activities for kids in the gym.

Online registration for classes is expected to be available July 27.

The academy will occupy nearly 13,000 square feet at Country Fair, with the gym taking about 10,000 of that and the reception/viewing area occupying another 2,200 square feet, Dennehy said.

The reception area will occupy the former Radio Shack space. It will have windows into the gym so parents can watch their kids train, Dennehy said.

Instead of sitting in bleachers in the gym, they can make use of Wi-Fi and the coffee machine — and get work done, if they choose — without enduring the noise of the gym, he said.

Dennehy, 24, and Horberg, 25, graduated from the UI, with bachelor's degrees in geology and photography, respectively.

Both have been involved in gymnastics for years. Dennehy competed for Glenbrook North High School, taking third in the state in all-around competition and the state championship in vaulting. He began coaching at the Y in 2009 and became boys' head coach in 2010.

Horberg started in gymnastics at age 3, began coaching at the Y at age 15, started coaching for the team program at age 18 and took over the program at age 22.

Both Dennehy and Horberg said gymnastics helps kids develop skills "bigger than gymnastics" — including discipline, self-esteem, time management, physical and emotional well-being and the ability to deal with failure.

For adults, gymnastics is a way to get in shape and gain flexibility, they said. Adults classes will be offered in the evenings.

The YMCA announced in January that it would end its competitive gymnastics program, but continue to offer recreational gymnastics.

The Champaign Gymnastics Academy is taking up where the YMCA left off, with a competitive gymnastics team that's expected to travel to Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis and points in between for meets.

Plus, the academy plans to continue the Justin Spring Invitational, which was formerly hosted by the Champaign County YMCA. This year's event is scheduled Dec. 8-9, Horberg said.

Hours for the academy are expected to be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as Saturday mornings.

The academy's website is http://www.champaigngymnasticsacademy.com. More information is expected to be added to the website in the coming month.

Courtesy earns magazine ranking

Courtesy Auto Group in Danville was one of 18 Illinois companies listed among the nation's top-grossing black-owned businesses by Black Enterprise magazine.

The magazine's annual BE100s report looked at 230 companies and divided them into seven categories.

In the auto dealer category, Courtesy Auto Group ranked 46th with $32.5 million in revenue.

The auto group includes two dealerships in Danville — Courtesy Ford-Lincoln and Courtesy Motors, the Dodge-Ram dealership — as well as Courtesy Buick-GMC in Crystal Lake.

Thirteen of the 18 Illinois companies were based in Chicago. The others were based in Matteson, Wheaton, Deerfield, Frankfort and Danville.

Caribbean Grill offers lunch to go

Caribbean Grill Catering has begun offering "CG Lunch to Go!" — but only on Wednesdays — at Refinery Banquet and Fitness Center, 2302 W. John St., C.

The catering service will offer jerk chicken, rice 'n peas, baked macaroni 'n cheese, jerk chicken salad and other dishes for take-out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays.

Online ordering — and delivery for orders of $50 or more — will be available.

The catering firm's website is http://www.caribbeangrill.net, and the phone number is 960-JERK (5375).

Hail your pet a cab

Angel Paws Pet Sitting in Champaign has expanded its service offerings to include pet taxi service.

Debbie Skaggs of Angel Paws said pet owners can arrange to have their animals picked up and taken to the veterinarian or groomer.

The phone number for the business is 359-1159.

Are you opening a new business or changing an existing one? Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at dodson@news-gazette.com; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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