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Who we are at

THE LITTLE GYM AMSTERDAM

  
   

Carlijn; Gym Director at The Little Gym AmsterdamCarlijn

Gym director

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- Every day I experience new, favorite moments. The children and parents give so much positive energy and show a lot of appreciation. Children are very open and honest and this allows for new surprising moments every day, bringing laughter and joy. I really like my job at The Little Gym, every day is different.

How did you get interested in sports?
- When I was four I started ballet and gymnastics. Soon I was selected for the advanced group at my gymnastics club. Until I was 12 I did gymnastics at a competitive level. In 8th grade I was taken by my mother to a ballet performance of the Scapino Ballet. I was amazed by the dancers on stage and decided that I wanted to be just like them. I auditioned for the dance academy right away and was accepted. From 8th grade I went to the dance academy three times a week after school and practiced different types of dance. I continued to do this throughout my high school education and afterwards went to the Performing Arts Academy.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- In my spare time I like to meet up with friends / family for a nice meal or drinks. I enjoy running, going out and shopping. At least once a year you will find me on the slopes on my snowboard, which i really enjoy a lot.

​What can't you live without? ​
- I could not live without my family and friends and especially my mother. My mother is very dear to me.


Where ​have you lived?
- I was born in Waalwijk, in the Southern province of Noord-Braband until I turned 21 when I moved to Amsterdam.

   

Anniek; Programme Director at The Little Gym AmsterdamAnniek

Programme director

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- Pff that is a hard one and a easy one. Over the years I experienced so many terrific and amazing things with kids and parents. I have favorite story’s full of laughter, story’s off the proud faces when children finally achieve something, heartwarming story’s and so on. To pick one is really difficult. If you want to hear a specific story just come to me in the gym and I will tell you all about it.

How did you get interested in sports?
- A lot of different things, reading a book, having fun with friends, going out for dinner, and most of all exploring the world and travel.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- I spend time actively with my boy-friend and family. But sometimes I enjoy a day of “doing nothing”, just with a book in my hands…

​What can't you live without? ​
- My friends and family. I need people around me to share all the great things that happen in life.

Where ​have you lived?
- That’s quite a long list already. I was born in Zwartemeer (Drenthe). After that I moved to Groningen for my first study. For my second study I moved to Amsterdam. Two years ago I bought a house in Haarlem, so the coming years I won’t be moving around. During my study time I did several longer internships abroad; Curacao, America and the Czech Republic.

   

Annemiek; Instructor at The Little Gym AmsterdamAnnemiek

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- Do you have a minute? ... In the 12 years that I work for The Little Gym, I have experienced many beautiful things . Every child knows how to touch me and I enjoy every smile and proud moment . The stories that really stick with me are those iin which we make a difference. The girl with a strong fear of failure saying to another first timer that it is okay if you can not do a skill and that she will get better if she practices. We are also very much aware of the role we play for parents. Parents make new friends and I see them maintaining those friendships long after the children have grown out of our programme. You know you are doing well if the parents organize spontaneous Friday afternoon drinks in the lobby.

How did you get interested in sports?
- As a six year old I could go to a gym class with a girlfriend because I was more upside down in a cartwheel or handstand than on my feet ( drove my parents nuts ) . I was immediately hooked and soon I was allowed to train more often during the week . Until I was 18 I did competitive gymnastics, then I got my teaching certificate within the Gymnastics Federation and I continued teaching at a gymnastics club. After I quit gymnastics, I got involved in an Indonesian martial art based on movements of four animals: monkey, tiger , snake and crane , Poekoelan kung fu. Here I can challenge myself and get rid of access energy. If been doing this for years and have my black belt.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- When I have a moment to myself and am not busy with my daughter Lynn, I enjoy working with my sewing machine and making clothes and bags. I also enjoy going to the theatre or reading a good book.

​What can't you live without? ​
- As any parent will say, my child. In addition, my family and friends are also very important. Further, good weather, good food and drink , good company and even sports; for me the difference between an ordinary and a good life.

Where ​have you lived?
- Born in an Amsterdam hospital, I was after a few days at home in Uithoorn. On my fourth we moved to Hoofddorp where I grew up . During my studies I moved to Amsterdam and lived there in different places. Since 2012 I am a " mosquito " and I live with pleasure in Haarlem.

  

Denise; Instructor at The Little Gym AmsterdamDenise

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 
- I enjoy every moment at TLG. Every class brings me joy when I see all the  the happy faces of the children. Especially if a child has to do an exercise that he / she finds scary and still dares to do it. Or to see children get more and more body control after practicing a skill over and over again until they master it finally. The moment of pride and joy is the most fun you can have as an instructor with the children and parents.

I can not choose one favorite moment, but I have a few brief WOW moments:
A father of a Beast proudly lets me know that his son can hang like a monkey on the bars after weeks of practicing!
Parents of a bird who takes his first "loose" steps during my lesson. The laughter and pride on the faces of the parents is great to see.
During a Funny Bugs class a girl tells me: You know what dad did today? He ate a sandwich with Nutella for breakfast, and it isn’t  even weekend! Haha, caught :)

All the moments of happiness with children of all ages make working  at TLG surprising and it is special to share these moments with parents, nannies and children every day.

How did you get interested in sports?
- From the age of 4 I have been playing sports. I started with ballet, but soon went into gymnastics. I loved gymnastics because of the wide variety of exercises, and I noticed I was getting better and better through practice . I was involved in competitive gymnastics until I turned 19 and then chose to study kinesiology. I continue to enjoy doing sports because it always gives me positive energy even if it sometimes makes me physically exhausted :-).

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- On my days off I like to go swimming, do fun things with friends and I like to get wrapped up warm on the couch reading a book.

​What can't you live without? ​
- Sunshine.

Where ​have you lived?
- In 2014 I lived in China for half a year and I have been active as a movement therapist in an orphanage and a special needs center. For the rest of my life I lived in Ouderkerk, where I grew up.
   

Jorieke; Instructor at The Little Gym AmsterdamJorieke

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- In a Funny Bugs class, Just when I was ready to do my station demonstration. The group of Three year olds is clearly distracted by other things going elsewhere in the gym and I say: “would you all be so kind to turn your noses towards my please?” and they literally all grabbed their noses and start turning them.

How did you get interested in sports?
- When I was small got excited about PreK-gymnastics and basically did not stop until I turned 17. I think it's always important to pay attention to a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise. I studied "Sports, physical activity, lifestyle and health", It is simple really: sports is just right for anyone. It makes me happy!

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- In my spare time I like to spend time with the people that I love; my family and friends. I like going to the cinema, a day trip, work out or just coffee. I sometimes just curl up on my couch with a great tv-series or a great book.

​What can't you live without? ​
- I can not live without my coffee, I love tea! And my running shoes, I really sometimes get out the door to run a round and then of course I can not do without my family!

Where ​have you lived?
- I was born in Creil, which is a small village in the north of Flevoland. Then I went to study in Haarlem, where I enjoyed living for four years. Two years ago I moved back to Amsterdam, and who knows where else I will be living in the future.

  

Sandra; Instructor at The Little Gym AmsterdamSandra

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- The best moments at The Little Gym are the ones that are related in this. "I can already walk without balance on the beam!" He meant of course, that he did not need my help. I can fill a book with comments like this!

How did you get interested in sports?
- As a child, my parents signed me up for gymnastics and I continued to do the sport for years. I finally quit practicing gymnastics actively when I turned 16, because I seemed to be doing more catching and coaching, than training myself and only had limited time. I became eager to teach myself and to immerse myself in everything that comes with this.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- In my spare time I like sports. At my gym, I enjoy group classes like zumba, step and boot camp. During weekends, I enjoy getting together with my friends; a night out, catch a movie, meet in town, or catch up with my friends at home.

​What can't you live without? ​
- What I can not live without (very cliché) my friends and family. They of course provide the necessary relaxation and conviviality.

Where ​have you lived?
- At the moment I live in Wervershoof, a village on the edge of the IJsselmeer. Born and raised, with an interval of half a year when I went to Portugal. I did my minor of Sport and Exercise, Lifestyle and Health there.

   

Boy; Instructor at The Little Gym AmsterdamBoy

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- In the two years that I have been teaching here, I have experienced so many great moments and it is hard to choose one favorite story. One in particular that I will not easily forget is that of a Mum who send us a photo of her son. He had build his own “The Little Gym” out of LEGO, with all our equipment, including teacher Boy, fantastic!

How did you get interested in sports?
- When I was 4 years old, I started with gymnastics. I liked it so much that I started training several hours a week during my high school years. Tumbling was my favorite gymnastics element and I later made the switch to team gymnastics also known as mini trampoline jumping . I loved the sport so much, that I also started coaching and was able to turn a hobby into a job.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- In my spare time I enjoy trampolining the most.

​What can't you live without? ​
- I couldn’t live without my girlfriend and my friends. They support everything I do. Besides this I can’t imagine not being able to practice or teach my sports.

Where ​have you lived?
- I was born in Harenkarspel, moved to Heerhugowaard and now live in Langedijk since 2006.

  

Tam; Instructor at The Little Gym AmsterdamTam

Instructor 

Your favourite The Little Gym story? 

- You see growing self-confidence in children. Funny Bugs who first do not want to join without mommy or daddy get comfortable in  your class after a few weeks or just go around in the gym while mom and dad are sitting outside.

This kind of things gives me a good feeling, and it's an honor to be part of it.

To give an example: a shy boy who is very careful in the beginning and very quiet. Where mom had to sit on the side for the first few classes. His confidence grew and we saw him try more and more things by himself in each class. He very clearly shared that he was afraid to try certain activities but I calmly explained that I would help him and we would do it together, he finally was willing to try. When something did turn out to be really scary, he immediately said 'not again', but when he masters a skill now and can do it by himself he will want to do it over and over again.

How did you get interested in sports?
- As far as I can remember, I've always kept myself busy with sports. When I was little I often played football or basketball with friends, we played hide and seek, tag, or other outside activities. If I think about it, I was always running around. In addition, I always played sports and this was mainly due to my grandmother, who felt it was important that we, my brother, sister and I played sports. Being active at this early age increased my love for sports.

What ​do you love to do in your free time?
- If it were possible, I would like to go snowboarding, wakeboarding, climbing, paintball, airsoft or just ride my bike in my spare time. I do however also like to spend time with my family and friends. And sometimes even nothing at all and then see what the day brings.

​What can't you live without? ​
- In addition to food and drink, I have to say my girlfriend (cheesy , I know ) . I have found that I can easily live with the things I have in a backpack , which is often clothing and toiletries . Never been homesick and never understood what people were talking about. If necessary I can do without all the modern devices , I can sleep anywhere and several weeks without sports can handle as well. But a few days without my girlfriend is annoying. So I am not sure how it would be without her.

Where ​have you lived?
- I 've always lived in Purmerend., which was very nice but as far as. I was 14 months old when I came from Indonesia to the Netherlands. From my parents I know that we have lived in Apeldoorn for few months. But the first thing I can remember is a flat in Purmerend. I often travel to Vietnam and America for a few weeks to visit my family.