Elevate Gymnastics History
Karl and JoAnne Byers met in 1960 at Washington State University – in the gym, of course. He was a NCAA All-American gymnast; she was an acrobat and education major. They married and moved to Sacramento where he began his 35 year career as a teacher in the athletic department at Sacramento City College. JoAnne raised two children and operated a pre-school in their renovated garage. In 1972 they decided to join forces and opened what is now known as Byers Gymnastics Center. The mission then, and is today, to teach technically correct gymnastics that is age appropriate in a fun, safe environment. Byers Gymnastics Center grew from one gym to four in the Sacramento area and one in southern California. In 1986 the Byers Gymnastics Center program became incorporated under the name Gym-Kids.
A little history on Eli and Debbie Rodriguez ….
Eli started gymnastics at Byers Gymnastics Center as a competitive gymnast at the age of 8, in 1972, and has been there ever since. He started coaching for Byers Gymnastics Center at 15 until he went to college in 1985. During this time he was on the National Team from 1983 to 1987.
Debbie Cori started doing acrobatics at the age of 5, and switched to gymnastics at age 6 when her natural talent was recognized in gym class. She started competing at age 10 and achieved the level of an Elite gymnast in Canada.
Debbie and Eli crossed paths when attending California State University, Fullerton on athletic scholarships. Eli started at California State University, Fullerton in 1985 with a major in Kinesiology (physical education) while competing for the University. Debbie had just moved to California to attend California State University, Fullerton in 1986 when they met. She majored in Kinesiology and Physical Therapy while competing for the University. She is also a licensed physical therapist assistant.
Eli and Debbie moved to Sacramento in 1990 where they married and shortly after began a new journey at Byers Gymnastics Center. They currently train our level 9, 10 and Elite gymnasts, but have a hand in all levels of training groups at Byers Gymnastics Center. Debbie also trains one of our Hot Shot groups, which includes a Level 4 competitive group.
Eli and Debbie Rodriguez became the new co-owners of the Massie Court Byers Gymnastics gym in 1997. Although new owners, the philosophy that started with Karl and JoAnne has never changed. In August 2009, Byers Gymnastics Center consolidated the recreational and team gym programs under one roof; located in the new gym on Dwight Road in Elk Grove. At the same time, the competitive boys/men's program was added offering training through the Elite level.
In August 2014, Eli and Debbie Rodriguez became the sole owners of the Elk Grove Byers Gymnastics Center gym, now operating under the name of Elevate Gymnastics Academy.