Kids who are fans of the NBC-TV show “American Ninja Warrior” may want to check out a new gym in Freeport called The Real Life Ninja Academy.
The venue’s target age is 5 to 15, and classes present kids with a variety of challenges modeled after the television show’s obstacle course, says owner Kathryn Gawrych, 26, of Massapequa. Three-time American Ninja Warrior champion Drew Drechsel is a co-founder and partner in the Connecticut-based franchise concept; this is the first location to open on Long Island. Obstacles include a warped wall, a salmon ladder and a floating book shelf, all of which are featured on show. The gym also offers rock wall, rings and even a buzzer kids hit at the end of the course to record their time.
Gawrych says the gym is a place for kids to build confidence and work hard toward a goal. “It’s not necessarily about the physical obstacles,” she says. She wants to teach kids that in life there will always be challenges and that something “you have to work a little harder to get around those obstacles.”
Classes are formed by age range and run for one hour a week for 12 weeks for $420; the inaugural session, however, will be 10 weeks long and cost $350, Gawrych says. “Each week we make it a little more challenging,” she says. The gym also offers some classes for adults, one-on-one training, corporate events and birthday parties.
The Ninja Academy is at 272 Buffalo Ave. in Freeport. For more information, call 516-407-3590 or visit rlnafreeport.com. Gawrych says she is researching locations for a second gym in Suffolk County.