SEAGA was created by Donovan Vestal in 1995 after the Gym in Dothan that he was working at unexpectedly closed.   With the financial assistance of several team parents, SouthEast Alabama Gymnastics Academy was incorporated.  Donovan was able to find an old building that was in a great location.  The old airplane hanger has long since been torn down, but you might have been to the location.  SEAGA’s original gym site was on Westgate Parkway where Fun Zone Skate Center is now located.

SEAGA started with 72 students and has blossomed to a high of over 580 students.  Donovan comes from a lifetime of gymnastics. He competed in the Texas public school system from 1976-1988. His first coaching job was in 1985 working with kindergarten age students in the public school summer program. This first teaching experience began his love of working with children. Donovan has worked with every aspect of gymnastics from beginners through high level athletes under the direction of the great Bela Karolyi, but he still has a soft spot for the little tots.

Donovan’s High School gymnastics coach Todd Vesely developed the philosophy that has influenced SEAGA from its first days. Coach Vesely understood the importance of the athlete over the sport. He believed that there was room in gymnastics for athletes of all backgrounds and abilities and that everyone had something to contribute. This philosophy helped in the development of SEAGA’s mission statement which still influences what we do daily. SEAGA has developed hundreds of successful competitive gymnasts, and as importantly, thousands of children have had, and continue to have, a wonderful experience with the sport of gymnastics.