Former Ole Miss cheerleader Morgan Winkel Wicker grew up in the world of competitive gymnastics and cheerleading. She never imagined one day she might own her own gym.
Wicker has always loved cheerleading. She started cheering when she was 3. From there, she followed her dreams and eventually became an Ole Miss cheerleader. In high school, Wicker won seven national championship titles.
Coaching cheerleading came naturally to Wicker. Shortly after college graduation, she began working at a gym called Pride Athletics in Batesville.
“I had the opportunity to start the all-star program at Pride Athletics,” she said. “It was amazing, but I knew it wasn’t where I needed to be. I wanted to start a gym of my own.”
Before she could open her own gym, she had a high demand for private coaching. A few moms got together and asked Wicker if she could tumbling for their children one night a week.
“They said they would buy all the mats and we could have tumbling lessons in their garage,” she said. “I knew I wanted to do something by myself, so I took on the job. Soon the job that started out one night a week with three girls blossomed in three nights a week with multiple kids. I was running a part-time cheerleading gym out of this ladies garage.”
With the constant push and whisper of advice from her mom, Wicker finally decided to purchase a gym of her own. Wink Tumble Academy opened on Heritage Drive in Oxford in April of 2017.
“When I first opened Wink, it was just big enough for three strips of mat,” she said. “I finally had to expand because we were busting at the seams.”
The gym has three rooms covered with mats, an oasis to cheerleaders and children everywhere. She recently bought another section of the building she is located in, and plans to expand Wink Tumble Academy to provide more services.
“I have kids of all ages in my gym,” she said. “I have preschool age to middle school age coming in to tumble. I never want my gym to be too big. I never want a kid to walk in for class and me not even know who they are.
“I like to know all my kids’ names and know the skills they can and cannot do. This is why it has been a challenge for me to grow, but keep it small with a family love feel when you walk in the door.”