Jamie Griffitts is the founder, owner, and operator of Acro Fit in Sarasota.
Her vision of a colorful, fun, gymnastics facility filled with pop music, up-side children in pink leotards and laughter came to life when Acro Fit opened in October of 2007.
The vision of Acro Fit began for Jamie when she was a junior in high school. Her parents asked her at the dinner table, “You have to plan for college now, what do you want to do when you grow up?” Jamie said, “I want to be a gymnastics coach. I want to go to college to learn about the body, its muscles, and how to train the body effifciently for the sport of gymnastics.” By that time, Jamie had been teaching recreational gymnastics classes around her own gymnastics & cheerleading training schedule since she was a freshman in high school. By the age of 19, Jamie was the head coach of a 30 member performance team involving tumbling, rhythmic gymnastics, partner acrobatics, and dad/daughter acrobatics. She was also the assistant coach of pre-teams, and compulsary gymnasts. Many of them became PA State Champions. Her commitment to teaching gymnastics continued while she competed collegiate gymnastics in her hometown. Jamie chose to stay in her hometown for college, so that she could strengthen her work experience in gymnastics. She had the opportunity to work side by side for 8 years with owner of her childhood gymnastics center, Mr. John Pancott. Whom, Jamie considers her first professional mentor, and looking back, represents the basic framework of Acro Fit and the inspiration to Jamie’s coaching philosophies.
Due to repetitive numerous ligament knee injuries and surgeries, Jamie was forced to retire from competitive gymnastics. In the years following, she graduated from West Chester University with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with her areas of specialization in:Teaching Health & Physical Education to Grades K – 12, and Physical Fitness Specialist.
Upon graduating, Jamie relocated to Sarasota, FL to become the Assistant Gymanstics Director of the Berlin Branch Sarasota YMCA for 5 years. During those 5 years, Jamie fine tuned their recreational gymnastics curriculum for children ages 18 mos – 16 years old. She also designed and implemented numerous gymnastics programs: tumble tikes (3-hour swim and gymnastics drop off program), Parent & Tot Classes, and a Performance Tumble Team. While working at the YMCA, Jamie started a family at home.
Due to her growing commitment in the “home front”, Jamie transitioned her career into the physical education & health field through being the Physical Education teacher at Goldie Feldman Academy with Temple Beth Sholom Schools. During her 7 years at Temple Beth Sholom school, Jamie had the opportunity to grow and develop the after school club program, athletics department, and health/fitness curriulum for the middle school. Even though Jamie enjoyed teaching Health & PE, her dream of a gymnastics facility remained within her career goals. The courage to pursue this goal, innately came from Jamie working closely next to, what she considers 2 more influential mentors, Rick Dodson (Director Of The Gymastics Deparmtent of The YMCA) and Robin Sweeting (Assistant Director Of GFA). Coupled with the support of her husband and parents, and God’s perfect timing, the planning of Acro Fit began…
And so now, here it is, Acro Fit Gymnastics Center!
A place where Jamie hopes many childhood memories are created, life skills are developed, dreams are inspired, athletes are born, cartwheels are mastered, parents laugh, smiles are everywhere, and a sense of family & friendship are felt by everyone who participates in its programs.