‘Ninja gyms’ open in Hamden, Windsor

HAMDEN -- Call them a new cadre of competitors aiming high, both kids and adults who are adding ninja training for both fun and fitness.

Drew Drechsel, who won season 10 of the popular American Ninja Warrior program, owns ninja gyms in both Hamden and now has a new location in Windsor.

“When I was these kids' age, I wasn’t climbing and being fit,” Drechsel said. “Nowadays, kids want to be fit, they want to get stronger and be smart doing something with fitness.”

From the rope swings to the warped wall, a group of kids were working out under Drecshel’s tutelage and guidance on a recent afternoon.

“I just like it’s very free and you can make up all these new challenges,” said 10-year-old Collin Cella, who has made it to the kid's version of American Ninja Warrior and was featured on national television for his talents.

Peace Lopez, a high school freshman from Wallingford, is hoping her training takes her to competitions across the country as well.

“What I like about ninja is the physical and mental part of it, you have to think about what you’re doing and put it into action.” Drecshel said. “I’m building character and personality traits and it will affect them for the rest of their lives.”