PORTLAND — Kim DeMado has always embraced fitness as a lifestyle.
A gymnast in grade school, and later a competitive runner and two-time Ironman Triathlon finisher, DeMado has worked as a personal fitness trainer, along with her husband, Tim DeMado, for many years.
The couple understands the importance of achieving and maintaining fitness — especially in an age when obesity and resulting diagnoses, such as diabetes, are at an all-time high.
But the birth of the DeMados’ son Jackson in 2009 led them to turn their attention from personal training for adults to offering youth fitness opportunities.
“We wanted to find a place for our son and his friends to participate in a variety of structured fitness classes to gain social skills and self-esteem, but there really wasn’t anything out there (like we envisioned),” said Kim DeMado.
So in March 2012, the couple launched a business called Tumble Tikes Children’s Fitness Center, a developmental gymnastics, sports and wellness center in Portland for children of all ages.
“Our mission is to provide a healthy and fun experience for children that will improve motor skills, develop cognitive ability, build self-esteem, learn cooperation and create a love for fitness that is supportive and noncompetitive,” said DeMado.
The business is located near Portland’s Bayside Trail and close to downtown services, shopping and fitness clubs so that busy parents can run errands or meet some personal fitness goals of their own while their children are participating in Tumble Tikes programs.
Tumble Tikes builds on a program Kim DeMado founded in 1996 in Falmouth called Tumble Kidz, an after-school program designed to supplement fitness education after athletic department cuts at a number of area schools.
DeMado introduced gymnastics and fitness into community recreational programs in Gorham, Falmouth, Portland, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth.
Tumble Tikes offers developmental gymnastics equipment for noncompetitive purposes, including junior bars, balance beams, vault horses, vault horse boxes, tumbling mats and tumbling aids. Age-appropriate classes are offered.
“We also offer sport-specific training for local athletes in the Greater Portland area,” said DeMado.
That program, ATS Youth Performance Camps, provides a positive environment for young athletes to develop both simple and complex motor skills.
The movement-based programs are individualized for all ability levels and designed to enhance performance and decrease the chances for injury in a variety of sports.
Tumble Tikes also seeks to reinforce fitness as a celebration.
The center can be rented for birthday parties for all ages on the weekends. Those sessions offer organized activities geared to the age of the birthday child and will include an active warm-up, tumbling skills, swinging on bars, balancing on beams, obstacle course, hula hoops, parachutes and relays with a Tumble Tikes instructor.
Staff Writer Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at: