Rising Starz Gymnastics and Fitness
Mission and Story
Our Mission is:
"MORE THAN GYMNASTICS, BUILDING CHARACTER FOR A STRONG FUTURE!"
Our Story began in the summer of 2008 when we purchased a mini van and some gymnastics equipment and started Rising Starz Fitness, Inc.
I began my coaching career in 1999 during my freshman year at Aquinas College. I loved kids, it was a perfect fit! I fell in love with the sport, and soon began to dream of one day starting my own gymnastics program. During my years working in different programs, I was able to train with many great coaches, travel and I had the amazing privilege of working with many great kids!
The original plan was never a van and a few mats, it was a 20,000 square foot multi-sports plex that offered many different sports for kids and families. (I like to dream BIG!) But life happened differently then my dreams and we started out small. Two great friends, became my first 2 employees and we launched a mobile preschool program where we brought gymnastics and fitness classes to two different Appletree Learning Centers and Cottonwood Christian Learning Center.
In 2010, we expanded our mobile business by adding a second van and partnering further with Appletree Christian Learning centers, now providing gymnastics and fitness for about 400 preschoolers each week!
In 2011, we began partnering with community programs to offer gymnastics in the evenings. We partnered with Legacy Christian School and Rockford Community Services offering a handful of recreational and preschool classes to youth in the Kentwood and Rockford Communities.
In 2012, our community programs continued o grow! Our Rockford Program doubled, and we started our first team program. We were thankful to be able to run our program out of Rockford High School, where they had a full gymnastics training facility. It was another great year for Rising Starz!
In 2013, our program was at capacity through Rockford Community Services and our team program went from 15 to 45! We needed to find more space. In October 2013, we opened our first location inside a small baseball facility in Rockford, where we rented a 4,500 square foot space and continued to grow Rising Starz! During this year, we also stayed partnered with Rockford Community Services to offer classes to the community.
In 2014, it was time to grow again and hopefully find a more permanent home. After months of searching, we found our new home in Comstock Park at 943 West River Center Drive. In August 2014, we opened Rising Starz Gymnastics and Fitness.
2019, we needed more space for our growing rec & preschool space and the opportunity arose to purchase a gym that was closing. We closed on that purchase in November 2018, and our team moved into the GR-Turner facility in January 2019 which allowed us to grow our preschool and recreational program at our Comstock Park facility.
2021, we had the opportunity to move into our current and new home on Dodge in Comstock Park. We decided that we wanted to be under one roof and so we closed both the West River location and Turner location and put all our programs back together in our new 17,000 square foot facility. During covid we ended up closing out mobile program and are currently strictly focused on in-house programs.
Rising Starz has always been more than a business to me, it’s my FAMILY! I started Rising Starz the year my husband Derik and I had our first daughter and as the business grew, so did our family. We now have 4 kids: Claire (14), Audrey & Owen (12) and Blake (9).
I am so thankful to have had so many people believe in Rising Starz and want to be a part of it. Each family and staff member that is a part of Rising Starz is so important to us and we are so grateful and privileged to know each of you! If you are just joining our gym family, we are excited to have you and get to know you! Thank you to all who have been a part of our journey. You are why Rising Starz is what it is today.
Derik and Sarah Gross and their four children. Claire, Blake, Audrey and Owen.