Prince Rupert Gymnastics becoming a reality

Dance, skating, diving and martial arts. These sports require a participant's core to be tested and hardened.

Dance, skating, diving and martial arts.

These sports require a participant’s core to be tested and hardened and there’s one activity where an athlete can get that and more; gymnastics. It’s also an area that’s found lacking in Prince Rupert. There are no clubs or organizations devoted to the skill, but three members of a new executive committee are trying to change that.

Will Spat, Jackie Touchet and Kate Toye form the nucleus of the growing organism that is Prince Rupert Gymnastics (PRG). The three have all held council early this summer and are looking to start a club Prince Rupert can call its own. The nearest club is currently Terrace Peaks, in Terrace, B.C.

“We’re looking to start from the ground up,” said Touchet.

“My kid’s feet don’t touch the ground. She just climbs on everything so [the moment I heard about it] I said OK I’m in this.”

The most pressing need is a physical location. And not just anywhere.

The address must be approximately 27 feet from floor to ceiling, with 2500 square feet. It must be affordable for a beginning club, be near a public transit route, and have a sprung floor. The group has looked at a number of different options and found one or two locations they deem plausible for the immediate future, but there are still some hurdles to leap.

The executive team would like more members, but not just anyone.

“We’re not an overseeing executive. We’re a ‘hands-on, a lot of work to do’ executive and if you are that person then we would gladly love for you to join,” said Toye.

Two coaches have been located in the area and the group hopes to be able to fund them as well as any assistants needed to be full-time paid positions with the club. Their qualifications are being sent to Gymnastics BC to check what updates (if any) are required, Spat wrote in the club’s first newsletter.

“It’s not ideal as a civic centre program because we would have to set up [the equipment] and take it down and with the apparatuses and trampolines and bars, it’s not easy to do,” said Touchet.

Fifty families have already shown interest and anyone who has yet to do so can reserve a spot with the club with an annual membership fee of $25 valid from September to August of next year. The fee is not all-encompassing. It will have Gymnastics Canada approval as well as Gymnastics BC backing once a location and equipment is acquired. The club can be emailed at portgym@gmail.com or ‘Like’ the club’s Facebook page at Prince Rupert Gymnastics.

“We have so many great examples in Prince Rupert [of successful organizations we can learn from],” said Toye.