The Perpetual Motion Gymnastics actually began in 1972 as a Maryville College community outreach program initiated and directed by Gary Thibodeau while he was an instructor within the Maryville College Physical Education Department.
The move from Maryville College:
Perpetual Motion was established by Gary in 1976. The Business originated in a downtown building owned by Dr. Bob Profit and located near the Maryville Daily Times. Bob was a major help in those first few establishment years. We will always be grateful for his initial encouragement and assistance. It was during this initial period, that Perpetual Motion added it’s second major program – a full time educational preschool.
Our current location:
In 1979 Perpetual Motion purchased the Brown School Property from the County. This building became the home of our full time preschool ages 1 through 5. We then immediately built the 7,000 sq. ft. gymnasium to house our children’s gymnastics program.
Our national gymnastics contributions:
The United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs contacted Gary in the fall of 1981 for assistance in locating housing for gymnasts performing at the US Pavilion during the 1982 Worlds Fair. At that time housing was over priced and scarce, so, Gary decided to build a facility directly behind the gym to accommodate this need. After the Worlds Fair the dorm was the home of the USAIGC national Junior Elite Development Program winter and summer training camps. The camps were established to train national USA coaches and future Olympians. Shannon Miller, Carrie Strug, Amanda Bordon, and Dominique Daws are past Olympians that benefited from our facility here in Maryville. We no longer offer national overnight camps and we have converted our overnight camp facilities to accommodate our Summer Day Camp for ages Kindergarten through 6th grades (13 yrs old).
Our expanding facilities:
The two pools, pavilion area, bathhouse and Youth Summer Game Room building were constructed a few years after the dorm was built to meet the needs of the USAIGC National Gymnastics Training Camp. The dorm facility was then converted to meet the needs of our own local summer “Take Action Youth Camp” program designed for school age children. Our summer day campers are now split into age groupings to accommodate the different needs of our school age children.
Our current Programs:
Perpetual Motion Preschool is a “full time” Preschool. Program staffing and teacher training are completely separate from the Gymnastics and the Summer Camp staffing and training. We begin with our one year old toddler class and group each level according to their needs until they graduate into our school systems. We currently do not take infants.
The Gymnastics Program at Perpetual Motion is called Smoky Mountain Gymnastics. The Gym has it’s own director and staffing requirements completely separate from the Preschool. . Vickie Davis is responsible for the instructional gym classes and our state recognized “Excel” Team Competitive Program. Gymnastics is valuable to every child and should be the basis of any sport training. All sports require abilities in balance, falling, rolling, coordination, core strength and just all basic body awareness. Any time spent in a gym class will enhance “any skills” in “any sport” a child may chose as they get older!
During the summer months we also offer a Summer Day Camp and swimming lessons that cannot be matched by any other camp experience. Summer camp facilities include a fully equipped gym (no travel). We have our own pools (no travel). We have our own game building (no travel). Also, younger and older children have separate homerooms and unique activities to match their age and needs.
The summer camp program is under the direction of the Smoky Mountain Gymnastics managers and staff. Camp gymnastic activities are only one part of the camp. This camp incorporates a variety of activities including inside and outside games, swimming, dded programs that exemplify the highest standard of community excellence and expectations.
Meet our Perpetual Motion Management Staff…
Perpetual Motion staff is highly educated with specialized training and multiple years of professional experience. These attributes are fundamental qualities in the development of our young children as they prepare each child for the challenges of tomorrow. Perpetual Motion is proud of our teachers, both current and past, and what they have accomplished over the many years of service to Blount County and the surrounding communities.
Founder, Owner and General Manager: Gary Thibodeau…
BS in Education / Biology from Central Connecticut State College – 1970
BS Certified Biology Teacher-South Windsor High School, South Windsor, CT-1971
MS in Education / Physical Education from The University of Tennessee – 1972
Instructor – The Physical Education Department–Maryville College, Maryville, TN–1972-76
Established “The School of Perpetual Motion, Inc.” – April 1976
Preschool Director: Heather Jackson…
Gymnastics Program and Excel Team Director: Vickie Davis..
Summer Camp Director: Kelsie Abbott ..