Veteran gymnastics coach Carlos Amaro is putting down his own mat in Hesperia.


"There's nothing better than being self-employed, or so I'm told," Amaro said Wednesday.


The industrial workspace off Eucalyptus Street still looks more like a machine shop than a gymnasium, but gymnastics equipment lines the wall and the center of the 10,000-square-foot room is occupied by stacks of face-down gymnastics mats, rows of springs sticking up in the air.


Amaro has been living in the Victor Valley for nine years, and for the last five, he's been commuting down to Corona to coach.


Despite the tough economic times, he thinks he'll be able to make a go of it with his new gym, Gymnastics Express.


"Parents will always find a way to entertain their kids," he said. "This sport is really affordable at the entry level."


The center will serve students 18 months and older.


"I've banked on my track record," Amaro said. He has had college-age students who have gone on to compete on the national level, he said. "I have a reputation for getting the job done, from the low levels to the highest levels in the sport."


He's also banking on having exclusive facilities, including being the only local center, he said, to offer power tumbling, double-mini trampoline and trampolines.


"You have to offer 100-foot runs to do tumbling at all."


The center is tentatively scheduled to open on March 31, and is currently registering students for classes beginning in April.


For more information about Gymnastics Express, call (760) 948-1313.