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Central Indiana gyms growing ninjas in fusion sport

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – Continued growth and a new season are being celebrated by a central Indiana business looking to foster confident, young athletes.

NinjaZone is the brainchild of Casey Wright whose background in gymnastics motivated her to create a unique fitness fusion program that blends her original sport, obstacle course training, martial arts and parkour.

Standalone academies in the Geist area and at Westfield’s Grand Park are two of the 260 locations providing the program.

“It took off like crazy so we began licensing the program and now we’re all over the U.S. and the world,” Wright said. “It morphed into truly something of its own where it’s a different channel. It’s a different outlet and a different option for parents.”

The program was initially designed to attract boys to a female-dominated sport though it is open to all children from walking age to 11-years-old.

The Fishers gym, located at 11464 Lakeridge Drive, hosted the Winter Ninja Games on Sunday.

Dozens of sock-footed participants donned headbands and matching t-shirts as they ran, climbed, crawled and jumped through an obstacle course.

It was the first competition for 4-year-old Connor Sands who opted out of a youth basketball program in order to train as a ninja, according to his mother.

“It burns off a lot of energy for him and it teaches him respect,” Jessica Sands said of the classes. “I really appreciate a new outlet for little boys because there’s a lot of stuff out there for girls but there’s not always anything different from the normal sports for boys, so I like that.”

Rather than being a pay-for-play facility, NinjaZone offers weekly classes.