Jennifer Hood, Owner and Director
Jennifer Hood has over 15 years experience working in six different gymnastics organizations across Canada. She has developed recreational programming for young children, and is a certified teacher, specializing in primary education. She is also a mother of three daughters, 9, 7 and 3.
All of her experience has led her to one important conclusion: when it comes to our children’s physical fitness, we can do better.
Conventional approaches to children’s sports have a vocabulary that includes words like early specialization, burnout, boredom, over-scheduling, dropout, intimidating, overly competitive, stressful, too late, and unfortunately, too often, childhood obesity.
Children are more likely to remain active if they are involved in something they enjoy. The problem? We do not know what our children will be interested in as they grow, and we certainly can’t enroll them in everything to ensure they don’t “miss out” later.
Fortunately, this is a problem with an answer.
For many years Jennifer has had a vision for a program that gives our children the basic building blocks of physical movement. A program that would ensure that they have the necessary foundation to be active for life, no matter what sport they choose and no matter whether their goal is recreation or excellence.
Following the birth of her second child, she decided to make her vision a reality.
In the spring of 2007, Jennifer was accepted into Langara College’s Self-Employment Program, where she spent ten weeks developing her business plan. She then dedicated the next 14 months to creating the curriculum, training staff and designing her facility.
Jump! Gymnastics opened its doors on September 2nd, 2008 and quickly became a destination for parents from across Vancouver and classes are now running at near capacity each session.
Jennifer was recently one of only thirteen women accepted to BC’s Forum for Women Entrepreneurs 2010 E-series. The FWE’s highly competitive E-series is a six-month program for women entrepreneurs of early-stage high-growth leverageable businesses. Jennifer is honoured to have been selected in such great company and looking forward to exploring opportunities to bring Jump! Gymnastics to more children.
“This isn’t about training gymnasts,” says Jennifer, “this is about using developmental gymnastics – the sport that offers the best opportunities to develop foundational movement skills – as a starting point to help our children be active for life.”
Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario
Background: Retail in a funky boutique on Main Street and many years as a nanny.
Favorite Activities besides gymnastics: Hiking, biking, and reading fiction inspired by true events.
Favourite Colour: Green
Favourite Travel Destination: Spain – in part because of siesta time!
Personal Mantra: “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
Hometown: Sackville, NB
Background: Competitive Swimming
Favorite Travel Destination: My Imagination
Favorite Activities besides gymnastics: Yoga, Golf, Snowboarding
Coaching Philosophy: To provide an environment that encourages individuals to have fun learning and developing an appetite for future participation and discovery of themselves through sport. To Continue to learn from the children I teach and the family I work with.
Personal Mantra: To step with great care and tact and remember that life’s a great balancing act. To never forget to be dextrous and deft and to never mix up my right foot with my left. And to keep right (or left) on stepping regardless of fears, with curious eyes and wide open ears!
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Education: Industrial Design
Background: Recreational Gymnastics for students ages 4-17
Favorite Activities besides gymnastics: Hiking, Drawing.
Favorite Travel Destination: Ladakh, India
Coaching Philosophy: All of us are unique learners, positive growth and development comes from contiuous, equal dedication to each child and their individuality. Every class is a new opportunity to share in learning, laughter, and growth!
Personal Mantra: Never stop learning, honour your passions.
Hometown: Victoria, BC
Education: BA in Health Sciences
Background: 10 time National Wrestling Champion, Junior world wrestling bronze medalist 2008, Winter Olympic torch bearer 2010
Favorite Travel Destination: The Great Wall of China<br>Favorite Activities besides gymnastics: wrestling, anything outside in the sun, running/walking my dog.
Coaching Philosophy: Treat each child as an individual, but learn to work as a team!
Personal Mantra: Live each day to the utmost.
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Education: BofA in Anthropology and International Developmental Studies (McGill), currently studying Nursing at BCIT
Background: Rhythmic gymnastics (from 8 – 11) and dance (from 11-15)
Favorite Activities besides gymnastics: Ballet, biking, yoga and snowboarding. Also trying to build up courage to go rock climbing!
Coaching Philosophy: So long as I am patient, enthusiastic, and confident, while being supportive of my students’ needs, we will all enjoy ourselves and learn a lot. The best way to learn is to have fun while doing it!
Personal Mantra: “Believe nothing. No matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha
Three most important things in her life: Friends, family, and her adorable cat
Her favourite food: Chocolate
Favourite sports other than gymnastics: Running, swimming, and hiking
Favourite travel destination: All around the world
Personal mantra/philosophy: Prends la vie comme elle vient tu ne sais pas de quoi sera fait demain!
Take life as it comes you do not know what will happen tomorrow!
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Education: finishing up degree at UBC<br>Background: Artistic & Rhythmic Gymnastics
Favorite Travel Destination: Liberec, Czech Republic
Favorite Activities besides gymnastics: Biking, Dance, Yoga, Hiking, Skiing.
Coaching Philosophy: I like to think of myself as passing on life skills, knowledge, and fun! While I may be the “teacher”, it’s still a learning exchange between you and the kids…. I’ve discovered they can teach you a lot as well!
Personal Mantra: Do what makes you happy and healthy!
Hometown: Limerick, Ireland
Education: B.Ed Primary Level Education
Background: Primary level physical literacy, physical education, gymnastics.
Favorite Activities besides gymnastics: Soccer, Gaelic games.
Favorite Travel Destination: Vancouver!
Coaching Philosophy: To teach children new skills in a way that’s fun and exciting, motivating them to want to learn, highlighting their strengths and building their confidence.
Personal Mantra: Live life as it happens.
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Education: BA and currently in a BSN program at BCIT
Background: Summer camp counselor at St.Georges, Women’s Metro Soccer (and still playing in competitive women’s soccer!)
Favorite Travel Destination: Ireland
Coaching Philosophy: Always seek out new and exciting challenges (inside and outside of the gym) but remember to have fun as you work towards achieving your goals!
Personal Mantra: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…unless it’s not meant to be! Then you must let it go and move on to the next adventure!
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Background: Hockey, Biking
Favorite Travel Destination: Heron Island
Favorite Activities besides gymnastics: Yoga, Running, Field Hockey, Soccer, Softball
Coaching Philosophy: A strong base in physical activity is vital to being comfortable with a variety of sports and activities throughout life.
Personal Mantra: Healthy mind in healthy body, karma.