After two years of hard work starting the organization from scratch, the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association (PRGA) is primed to hire its very first full-time head coach this July.
Coming over from the Kitimat Dynamics Gymnastics Club, Bill Tyrwhitt has approximately 25 years of gymnastics experience working with clubs in Ontario, B.C. and elsewhere. Tyrwhitt has also previously worked with ski and diving teams and even offers dryland training to athletic teams and clubs.
“He really likes the area and he likes what we’re doing and how we’re growing our club, so he is going to be starting July 1,” said PRGA president Jackie Touchet.
The club will be offering summer camps throughout July and the first two weeks of August with Tyrwhitt and in September, a full Monday to Saturday schedule will be offered for ages starting from tots to young adults, including after-school programming for kids in elementary or secondary school.
“If they choose, kids will be able to go two or three times per week if that’s what they’re interested in and we’re going to be running from beginners all the way up to pre-competitive in the fall,” said the president.
Plans to train teens or adults aged 15 or over are also in the works so they can volunteer to lead the summer camps for at least a week at a time, while more formal gymnastics certification training for anyone interested is in the works for later on as well. The club is also always on the lookout for people with prior gymnastics experience to join.
Operating out of the Museum of Northern B.C.’s Centennial Room since the early spring, the club has grown exponentially with increasing interest from parents and athletes weekly. Touchet expects to be able to grow with the demand.
“The final piece of the puzzle is we’re looking to fundraise $60,000 to bring in a new, gym-full set of equipment,” Touchet.
The club also bought new mats at the beginning of the year for $10,000.
The club operated out of the civic centre before finding the museum and now they don’t need to constantly set up and take down equipment.
Open registration to join PRGA will be held on May 15 and May 29 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the club (the museum’s Centennial Room).
More information can be found by emailing Touchet at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook at the club’s page: Prince Rupert Gymnastics.