Business of the Week – Wild West Athletics

You help your community thrive when you shop locally!

Be sure to read The Prowers Journal each week when the Lamar Chamber of Commerce
and The Prowers Journal highlight a featured Business of the Week.

This week we are proud to spotlight Wild West Athletics.
Give them a call at: 719.336-FLIP

Joette Duvall, owner of Wild West Athletics, began her gymnastics and cheerleading journey when she was nine years old. She began competition gymnastics at age 12 and continued thru high school. She also was a member of her school cheerleading squad at Thackerville Schools in Oklahoma. She then cheered for the Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Duarant, Oklahoma and later transferred to the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas and became a member of their cheer squad. During her college years Joette was nominated and received a position as a UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) instructor for summer camps.

Her parents supported her love for gymnastics and built homemade equipment in the back yard where she often practiced. When Joette was 13, she began offering summer gymnastics classes for $2.00 per class, to young children. Enrollment increased enough to form a small business in her junior high years. She offered classes in the school auditorium in the winter months and then began using a building in Thackerville, Oklahoma that her parents owned. This small business project continued to grow throughout her high school years where her parents added a metal building to create the height needed to coach all events and skills such as the tumbling floor, incline trampoline, balance beams, uneven bars, and the vault. She took her first team to their first competition at age 15 where she competed against her own team. In the early sessions, the meets were lower level gymnasts where she was a coach. While in the evenings she was a higher level competitor. During college, she was working toward a business management degree, cheerleading on the university squads, and coaching gymnastics. By age 20, she was coaching over 150 students a week during the school season and over 300 during the summer months.

She met Cody Duvall, her husband, in October 1998. Cody and Joette married in 2000 and she stayed one more year in Oklahoma to continue training three students that were juniors in High School at the time of her marriage. They had trained with her for years in hopes of a college scholarship. She continued training them during their senior years until all three became college athletes and their tuition was paid.

In 2001, Joette and her husband moved from Oklahoma to Colorado where she began gymnastics classes that summer in Mrs. Leah Austin’s dance room. Joette later relocated to the Lamar Community Building, where she was able to offer a year round program for three years, teaching over 100 students weekly. Joette wanted to pursue competition gymnastics, which was not available through the Parks and Recreation services. Joette began plans to build a facility in Lamar but due to strenuous building codes that, at that time, were not flexible in Lamar, she built the facility in Granada. The Granada gymnastics facility, DuVall Academy of Sports, was very successful for two years.

After the blizzard of 2006, the price of gas increased, and customers that were driving sometimes twice weekly to Granada, chose to stop participating in classes. As memberships decreased, Joette chose to return to Lamar. She offered gymnastics classes at The Shore Arts Center while searching for a facility. With the help of Carla Scranton from the PCDI, Cody and Joette purchased the old T & T Furniture store from Scott Tidswell. After months of remodeling, Wild West Athletics held its Grand Opening in December of 2008.

WWA promotes gymnastics, cheerleading, tumbling, martial arts, wrestling, & Zumba. With humor, it offers classes for ages 0-100! There is something for everyone. Romp Around classes are offered for children walking – 4 years old. This class is non-structured but offers a staff member where the parent participates with the child. They also offer a Parent -Tot class called Gymnastics Jubilee for ages 18 month-3 years. A large percentage of that class is set to music and is a structured class where the instructor and the parent work together to teach coordination and body awareness. The next level of gymnastics offered is a Pre-school Gymnastics class where the instructor is teaching the basics of gymnastics in a structured environment. WWA also offers elementary gymnastics classes where the students are in the “big gym” with 3 foam block pits, 3 styles of trampolines, an Olympic size 40×40 foot tumbling floor, 9 balance beams, 7 bars, & 2 vaulting apparatuses.

Some elementary students are chosen for the Wranglers Gymnastics Team & Pre- Team. The Pre- Team learns routines and what is expected of them when they become a team member. They attend one home meet each year, which will be held at Wild West Athletics on Sunday March 3rd at 2:00 p.m where the public is encouraged to attend. The Team also travels to competitive events. This year the Team is composed of 5 level 3’s, 5 level 4’s, 1 Optional A, & 1 Optional B. The Team will be competing in Garden City, Kansas on February 9th, at WWA in Lamar on March 3rd, in Denver on March 24th, in Denver the last weekend in April, and in Colorado Springs the first weekend in May.

You will also see the Team & Pre Team members performing at area schools basketball half times as entertainment. They will be performing in Wiley on January 17th, at LCC on February 5th, Holly on February 12th, and Springfield on February 19th. Tumbling is offered one time weekly for JH-HS students and is geared toward those wanting to become cheerleaders or are cheerleaders wanting to improve their skills. Martial Arts is also offered to ages 6-11 & ages 12-adults. This is an excellent program and is continuing to grow. WWA just began offering a wrestling program, where the goal is to have a competitive wrestling team that competes during the season opposite of youth program competition schedules for this area. Zumba is also offered for adults. A youth cheerleading squad would be a great program to offer as soon as the interest is shown, but until then, Joette gets her cheerleading fix by coaching squads around the area with their choice of skills. Some squads choose to do camps at WWA, some consistently come monthly or weekly, and others receive services periodically as they want routines for games such as Homecomings. WWA started offering Open Gym for only $5.00 per participant on the first Friday of each month. Wild West Athletics is super proud of the number of birthday parties they’ve been offering.

Thank you for the support in offering 114 birthday parties in 2012. They also want to thank the 220 members that supported the program in 2012. The staff at WWA is excellent and is the reason that they continue to have such wonderful and supportive customers. There are 12 staff members at Wild West Athletics. Every one of them has had past experience and is highly qualified in the areas they are serving. Roni Vallejos oversees the Romp Around program and is wonderful. Lexi Wurst oversees the preschool program. Lexi was a former competitive gymnast. Kylie Bennett assists with the preschool program and was a former class member of Joette’s. Ashley Duvall was a former class member of Joette’s and oversees the elementary program. Bekka Bennett assists with the elementary program. Regina Westhoff was a former competitive gymnast for over 5 years. She was one of the reigning State Champions for 2009 & 2010 as an optional gymnast. Regina oversees the performances that the Team & Pre Team participates in and oversees the Pre Team along with Karen Henderson. Karen had particiapted in gymnastics in her youth and has coach for Joette for the past 10 years. Karen also coaches Team. Lesli Baca assists with Pre Team and elementary classes and she participated in gymnastics and cheerleading in her youth. Cherie Tempel coaches Team, elementary classes, and tumbling. She had participated in gymnastics and cheerleading in her youth and has coached with Joette for over 10 years. Alyssa Splitter was a former competitive gymnast and coaches Pre Team & elementary classes. Chris Hollingsworth helps manage the lobby and coaches any classes when needed. Chris is a Parkour/Free Running Trickster, former gymnast and martial arts black belt. Tim Baker is a professional martial arts instructor with a 5 time black belt degree. He offers the martial arts program. Shae Krentz offers the Zumba program and has a lot of experience with coaching and promoting health and wellness. Rebecca Henderson has been a gymnast with Joette since she was three years old. She competes on the Wranglers Gymnastics Team and also assists with coaching and performances.

Wild West Athletics, LLC is a great program for children and adults, boys and girls, ages 0-100! They will be hosting an Enrollment Night & FREE Open Gym on Monday, January 14th from 5:00-7:00 for their WInter Session 2013. The WInter Session begins late January and runs for 6 weeks. Call 336-FLIP for more information.

Filed Under: BusinessBusiness of the WeekcommunityEntertainmentHealthLamarRecreationSportsYouth


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