CEO & Founder
IyaSokoya Karade aka Coach Iya, is the Owner/CEO of the Athletic Arts Academy NJ LLC, a fully equipped, Olympic-styled, 10,500 sq. ft. youth fitness center serving children age 2+, beginner to competitive levels located in Orange, NJ. A3’s youth training programs include gymnastics, skating, and dance instruction along with annual licensed summer camp. Pivoting due to the Covid 19 disaster, Coach Iya strategically placed the Academy in the “essential business” category by establishing and co-locating the A3 Gymnastics Child Care Center LLC, a state licensed program providing remote/virtual learning support and after-school care for school-aged children ages 6 thru 12.
Growing up as a latch-key kid, Coach Iya began like most children, flipping on the sidewalks and discarded mattresses of Newark’s Central Ward. Later, she was fortunate to attend a suburban high school where she was encouraged and challenged both academically and athletically. Linden High School had a competitive gymnastics program where she was formally introduced to the sport of Gymnastics. Her professional gymnastics life began in 2000 as a substitute instructor during her daughters’ classes. Seeing a deficiency in safe, developmental recreational programs in her own home area, she opened her first gymnastics school, Karade Gymnastics School, in 2005. Subsequently, the Athletic Arts Academy in 2014. Coach Iya has a long history in child development services. In 1998 she owned and operated Karade Village For Children, an accredited family child care home for 10 years.
IyaSokoya holds a Master’s Certification from George Washington University in Project Management and is a Certified Process Quality manager with 11 years in the telecommunications industry. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY, NY studying Fashion Design & Fashion Buying & Marketing. Professional certifications and positions include being the current NJ District Sports Director for Gymnastics for the Amateur Athletics Union (AAU), a USA Gymnastics certified National Coach, Meet Director, and member of the National Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges (NAWGJ).
Additionally, Coach Iya is USAG Safety & SafeSport Certified, BLS/Health Care Provider CPR & First Aid. She is a certified Yoga For Children instructor who also studied West African, Haitian, and Lester Horton styles of dance.
One of Coach Iya's favorite quotes...
"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."
By Nelson Mandela