I was an engineer before I discovered The Little Gym. I had 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications and oil and gas industries under my belt. I loved being an engineer, but I was ready for a change.
I had fallen out of love with the corporate world. My heart wasn’t in it anymore and I just wanted to do my own thing.
My friends will tell you that I’ve always been a bit rebellious. And the time was right for my own personal rebellion! I wanted to make a positive difference in the world – I just needed to figure out how.
Our daughter, Malini, was very timid and avoided trying anything new. She also struggled with balance and coordination. We sensed that poor physical confidence was holding her back, and we started to look for activities that would help.
The Little Gym had been recommended to us by a friend, and we arranged an introductory visit to The Little Gym The Hague when Malini was 10 months old.
As soon as we arrived, we knew The Little Gym was different. They were warm, welcoming, and genuinely interested in helping us. The gym itself was clean, colourful, and the professional equipment really took us by surprise.
When we went to classes, we thought ‘Wow… this is something special’. We’d never seen a class that was so positive, welcoming and fun, yet so serious about child development – one of our passions.
My wife and I were already very serious about child development. We were very passionate, and spent our evenings researching neurological development, expression, education and parenting.
The Little Gym was perfectly aligned with our philosophy on child development – the importance of encouraging children to try new things, get them moving, celebrate their unique successes, build courage, and boost their confidence.
So, in June 2014, my wife and I bought the already established The Little Gym Hampton and Teddington franchise, one of the first The Little Gym locations to open in the UK. That was the end of corporate life for me!
Today, more than 400 members attend our gym every week. We teach them gymnastics, but more importantly we teach life skills. Simple things which aren’t that simple if you are two, three, four or five – like learning to listen, take turns, share and make friends.
We can see the huge difference The Little Gym has made in Malini’s little life already. She is more courageous, confident, and physically capable at three years of age than we ever expected. And she’s surprisingly sporty – even taking on ice skating… not easy at three!
Parents tell us they see a difference in their children after they join our Gym. They’re more attentive, diligent, and better listeners at school. Their confidence and courage grow, whether they are naturally sporty or not.
And our little members really feel like they own the Gym.
Just the other day, I was behind the reception desk and a little girl ran up and said ‘Who are you? What are you doing in my Gym?’. I’m not usually in the gym that time of day, and she was protecting her Gym from the invader – me! Her mother and I burst out laughing.
Just another day in the office, and I count my blessings every day.Somesh MitraOwner – The Little Gym Hampton & Teddington