Displaying items by tag: Saratoga Ninja Lab
MALTA — If you are a fan of the NBC hit television show, American Ninja Warrior, The Saratoga Ninja Lab was the place to be this past weekend.
Athletes young and old, from as far away as Canada, descended on a warehouse in Malta, NY in their quest to reach the winner’s podium and earn a spot at the National Ninja League World Championships in February. More than 150 competitors swung, climbed, jumped and hung their way through a series of challenging obstacles which tested their strength, agility and balance.
This was the first National Ninja League (NNL) competition to take place in our region.
“It was a big honor for the Saratoga Ninja Lab to be a designated NNL gym” said Ninja Lab co-owner Dan Kirchner.
“We put a lot of work into the gym, and this competition, and it paid off,” Kirchner continued.
While competition was at the forefront, comradery and teamwork stood out throughout the entire weekend.
“The kids and the adults really support each other” said Bryce Bouchard, team coach at the Saratoga Ninja Lab.
“We’ve created a really positive atmosphere at the Lab, and the Ninja community as a whole is a tightknit group. I am really proud of the growth, both personally and physically of all the kids on the competition team,” Bouchard stated.
The Saratoga Ninja Lab opened to local fanfare in August 2018. Building on their initial success, the Ninja Lab team opened their second location this past summer in Crossgate Commons in Albany. Both gyms offer classes, birthday parties, team training, theme nights, open gyms, competitions and private events.
To learn more, go to: SaratogaNinjaLab.com
Local Athletes Excel on National Level
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A number of kids from our area are making a name for themselves in the world of Ninja Warrior competitions. One will appear on the reality TV show American Ninja Warrior Jr., and five others will head to the National Ninja League World Finals. Ollie Huss, a fourth grader from Saratoga Springs, is a local TV star now. Huss will be featured in the inaugural season of American Ninja Warrior Jr., airing Saturdays at 7 p.m. on Universal Kids.
On how he was chosen, Huss said this: “they asked a certain amount of people to submit a video to cast on the show and if they got picked, they got a call back telling them they were on the show. The call back for me to be on the show felt really good. Especially knowing that this is something I’ve been dedicating my entire life to,” said the 9-year-old.
Huss and his family traveled to Los Angeles for three days, so he could compete for the show.
“I liked LA, it was really hot there,” he said.
Huss says his best ninja skills come from his upper-body strength. He wants to improve his balance, though.
“I’m trying to balance on skinnier ledges to help me improve,” he explained.
Huss practices daily for three to four hours. He also enjoys competitive climbing, playing the piano, and skiing.
“I’m really good at skiing,” he stated.
Huss has decided he wants to be a national climber when he grows up. continued from front page...
“When I first saw American Ninja Warrior, everyone that did it usually had a background of gymnastics and climbing… I’ve done gymnastics, I wasn’t exactly the best at it,” he laughed, “but it was fun to try.”
Huss said that seeing himself on tv is “hard to believe.”
Saratoga Ninja Lab has five athletes qualified for the National Ninja League World Finals this February in Connecticut; Keegan Daly and Rya Torres both took first place their divisions at Action Athletics National Ninja League Competition. Georgia Boggs also placed in her division; Joey Barr also qualified for finals; and Leah Torres powered through her run after a small stumble early on.
“I’m just so incredibly proud of them,” said coach Randi Cowper.
“These kids have been training here since we opened, they came to summer camp and we knew when we were talking about a ninja team that these guys and girls definitely had to be a part of it. They work so hard and it shows in their training,” Cowper continued.
So far, the Saratoga Ninja Lab has had five kids compete in two different competitions and four of the five competitors have qualified for the world finals.
“That’s unheard of, and I know we’re going to have more as the season goes on,” Cowper stated.
Photos by Cathy Duffy.
MALTA – The Saratoga Ninja Lab, the first membership gym of its’ kind, is now open in Malta. Located at 9 Stonebreak Road, Suite 3, this gym is the perfect place for anyone to turn into a ninja. Currently, throughout the month of August, the Ninja Lab is running summer camps Monday through Friday in one-week, half-day sessions. Morning sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon and afternoon sessions run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., each camper will be put into groups of similar ability. For only $200, your budding ninja can enjoy strength and self-confidence building activities on all of the obstacle courses. It’s time for them to find their inner-ninja! All of the coaches at The Ninja Lab are CPR certified and background screened.
Other open gyms and classes are provided at The Ninja Lab, along with the opportunity to host your child’s birthday party.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with all of this,” said co-owner Molly Morgoslepov.
“To me, this type of activity, is so much fun that people don't realize they're exercising and working out. They're strength training here and I think that once people try it they'll be pleasantly surprised, and they'll leave here sweating and they'll realize, 'wow, if I do this every Friday night, it's a different type of training.’ It'll really be awesome,” she continued.
Dan Kirchner, another co-owner, found the space on January 18.
“Here we are, less than six months later, and we’re open,” Morgoslepov said.
The Ninja Lab has already hosted their first birthday party this past weekend and the ninja team was impressed.
“It was awesome!” she said.
Safety is number one and fun is number two at The Ninja Lab.
"I am a personal trainer, so I come at this from kind of a safety standpoint, I’m the safety person. It was really important to me when we came into this space that it wasn't going to be a free for all. Not that we don’t want kids to come in and have fun, but we want kids to come in and learn something and get stronger. They may not even realize they're getting stronger, but they're physically active and they are in here learning a new skill. They're having fun, so for me, I want to make sure it's safely. All of the employees here all bring some kind of skill to the table. Whether its gymnastics, rock climbing, some of these are ninjas that have been on the show, and they all have some kind of background,” Morgoslepov said.
As stated on the website, the principles The Ninja Lab stands by are as follows:
- Constant positive reinforcement
- Zero bullying policy
- Cheer for your fellow Ninjas
- Don’t worry about the Ninja next to you, he/she is somewhere completely different in his/her journey
- Leave happy, tired, and stronger than you were yesterday.
Prices, membership information, classes and open gym schedules can be found at www.saratoganinjalab.com.
The Ninja Lab is still hiring, and the application can also be found on the website.
GALWAY — Imagine you’re settled in with your husband and two sons watching the tv show American Ninja Warrior and you suddenly have this thought, “I could do that, too.”
That’s how Galway native Randi Cowper became involved with ninja training. She adventured three hours away to the closest ninja gym, which was in Vermont, and gave it a try. She was immediately hooked. After that, her husband of seven years, Dustin, built her a ninja course in their basement and backyard. She ran track and cross country through high school and college, she also did cross-fit for a few years, but nothing like this before.
“Two years ago, I kind of just decided that I wanted to get on the show, American Ninja Warrior, so my husband built a course in our backyard and I was called to compete in Cleveland last year, where I did really terribly,” Cowper laughed.
“I fell on the second step right in the very beginning of the course so it kind of just gave me more desire to train harder and do better. We then converted our basement into a ninja gym. We have our backyard and our basement, and I was able to get back on Ninja Warrior this year,” she said.
Cowper’s obstacle attempt was not shown on the show this year either, but she did go further than the year before.
“I did a lot better, I almost got to the third obstacle this year, so I just missed the landing platform and fell in the water,” she explained.
This has turned in a passion for Cowper over the last two years, out of nowhere, and now with the Saratoga Ninja Lab opening, she will be a trainer there, finally able to immerse herself in the ninja world, only 20 minutes from home. The Saratoga Ninja Lab is for all-ages and will have summer camps for kids starting in August.
“It’s just so much fun and such a great workout and you don’t even realize you’re working out because you’re having such a good time and then you want to keep doing it,” Cowper said.
In order to get called to compete for a spot on the show, participants must fill out an application and send a threeminute video that makes them stick out from the other 70,000 applicants.
“There is something like 70,000 people who apply to be on the show so to be a normal mom from a small town in upstate New York, you don’t really think you’re going to be one of those people. So, I think the first time was just surreal and I really didn’t have the confidence in myself or my abilities so when I got up there, I was just totally a deer in the headlights, with all the cameras and everything. So, when I got the call this year, obviously I’ve been training for another year, so I feel stronger and better than I ever have, but it’s more of like a self-confidence I never had before from this year over last year,” she said, explaining the difference in performances.3
Cowper does plan to compete again next year.
“The show is great, but the training is not about getting on the show, for me anyway. It’s just about seeing how strong you can become physically and you’re happier and you have a purpose and you feel good about yourself. So, the show is great, that’s kind of like the cherry on top but that’s not why I’ve been training,” she stated.
Cowper’s oldest son, Seth, is “more into video games and he wouldn’t tell me if he thought it was cool just because he’s at that age,” Cowper said.
Her youngest, Aiden, “definitely thinks it’s awesome, he’ll be at the gym,” she said.
For now, she has her day job at the Alpin Haus RV Saratoga location as the business manager and will start training at the Saratoga Ninja Lab once they open.
“When I started doing this, I was just a regular mom who had insecurities and low selfconfidence. The training for the show has totally changed my life, physically, obviously I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, but emotionally, my confidence, it’s awesome and I want to share the passion and love that I have for it with anyone that I can,” she said.