YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Christmas at the end of spring'

It was for gymnastics students at YongsanAca,!a,,cs Child and Youth Services when much-needed gymnastics equipment arrived.

Aca,!A"We were standing there opening some of the boxes and one of the girls came and said, Aca,!EoeThis is just like Christmas!Aca,!a,,c She was so excited,Aca,!A? said Aundrea Witt, CYS instructional program specialist.

The gymnastics program received new equipment for the more than 200 children and youth who participate in gymnastics, one of the 12 instructional classes offered under the SKIESUnlimited Program. SKIES stands for School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration, and Skills.

Aca,!A"Our gymnastics instructor has been using the same old equipment for several years, so our CYS leadership got together with IMCOM-Region to try and get funding for some new equipment to help enhance and bring in new programs and training ideas,Aca,!A? Witt said.

The request went through and was funded by Installation Management Command-KoreaAca,!a,,cs Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Seventy-five new gymnastics mats, along with other equipment like tumbling aids and pieces designed for pre-schoolers and toddlers, replaced the old at the CYS gym and the Child Development Center, where gymnastics classes take place weekly for toddlers up to high school students.

Aca,!A"Before, the mats had been so worn that during the classes children had to keep stopping to put the mats back together,Aca,!A? said Kathy Fields, who had been the youth services gymnastics coach for four years.

Witt said the new equipment brightened up the gym atmosphere. Aca,!A"My daughter has been taking the classes for four months and loves it,Aca,!A? said Sandra Brown, mother to Kristen. Aca,!A"The class now resembles the ones that you will find in the states. The new mats will help her learn better.Aca,!A?

Families come from K-16, Camp Red Cloud and Camp Casey to participate in the Youth Services gymnastics program.