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Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied

The Kids Gym in Sable Square, Milnerton is designed so that every child can embrace physical literacy, whether they want to hone their skills in a chosen sport, or just experience movement in a noncompetitive, nurturing and motivating environment. Co-owners Janet Mitchell and Glenn Joselowitz tell us more about their business.

How did your business start?

Janet: I was a gymnastics coach in the UK and represented Great Britain in international events at a time when gymnastics was prevalent in the Eastern Bloc – a month spent in Russia was certainly not fun! I was headhunted to come to South Africa to assist in setting up a programme for coaches and gymnasts, and the sunshine was a definite attraction. Thirty years later, I’m still here.

Glenn was one of the coaches that I trained and worked with, and he had one of the biggest clubs in the country. Recently, we started talking about the challenges of children growing up today and the decline in their activity, which negatively impacts on their health and well-being, addiction to technology being a central player!

Glenn: My daughter, Emily, is also behind the inspiration for The Kids Gym. Born with a rare neuromuscular condition, her hands, fingers, wrist, shoulders and right foot had limited or no mobility. By the time she was four, she had had operations, casts, splinting and countless specialists and physiotherapists. I often took Emily to the gym with me, setting up little obstacle courses, slowly challenging her abilities, and she thrived. Her confidence in her body grew and it wasn’t long before we had to hold our breath in the playground.

We spent two years planning and developing this brand, to start the process of getting kids active.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?

We identified a number of requirements, primarily affordable space with height and ample free parking, and in a retail space. The space at Sable Square met all these and is easily accessible from the surrounding areas.

How did you find your premises?

A location scout looked for us based on our specs. As it happened, the centre was specifically looking for an offering for children, so it was a win-win situation.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?

The type of space we require can be expensive and often there’s either no parking or paid parking. So, to find the right space at the right price with free parking was key.

Who are your neighbours?

We’re located near Spur, Pick n Pay, Clicks, Tekkie Town plus lots of novelty stores.

What are the rental prices like in this area?

Considering we’re close to Canal Walk, where the rentals are very high, they are reasonable.

How many people visit your business each day?

We currently have 300 members who come in regularly according to their own timetables, another 200 to 300 kids per week, as well as birthday parties.

Do you have any expansion plans?

Definitely, we’re already in negotiation for a branch in Joburg.

Do you operate online as well?

All bookings and sign-ups can be done online.

What’s your most popular service?

Kids enjoy moving between the different programmes: from the Ninja Zone and Ball Zone to the Balance and Climb, or the Rhythm Zone, there’s something for every age and ability.

For more information on The Kids Gym, phone 082 900 4480 or visit the website

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