Powell River Gymnastics swings into 20th season serving community

]Sports club offers something for everyone

Powell River Gymnastics has something for everyone, no matter what age or level they are, says executive director Michele Dillon.

The non-profit sports society located on Field Street in the former Max Cameron Secondary School gym was established in 1999 and grew out of a private gymnastics club that had been operating in Powell River since the 1980s.

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With more than 35 years of experience in coaching gymnastics, Dillon has managed the club for the past four years and served as its head coach for six years prior to becoming its executive director.

“This season marks our 20th anniversary,” says Dillon. “We have really grown as an organization and in the various programs we offer Powell River.”  

The non-profit has seen generous community support over the years to help build its 14,000 square foot gym, a facility that includes competition regulation equipment, an in-ground trampoline and a 435 square foot foam-cube-filled pit, which will soon be revamped courtesy of a brand new makeover.

“Powell River is a wonderful community,” says Dillon.

September kicks off a new season for Powell River Gymnastics.

“This is the time when we meet all the new children and figure out the best class for them given their abilities,” says the club’s office administrator Karyne Bailey. “Anyone interested can check out the upcoming schedule for all classes, levels and times available.”

Last year, the gym saw more than 5,000 people enrol in programs and utilize the facility, says Dillon. The sports society is looking forward to even more growth as more residents learn about how the gym, with its professional staff, can help families reach personal fitness goals, she adds.

“We have a fabulous gym, knowledgeable staff and a friendly, family environment with programs suitable for everyone, no matter their level of ability or age,” she says. “We always welcome more families.”

Dillon adds that the society has tried to make programs affordable and is able to help parents apply for outside funding for their children where needed.  

The club offers many programs, including preschool, parent and tot, 13+ drop-ins,developmental and competitive, recreational, trampoline and tumbling, parkour, teens and high schools and aerial circus.

With its range of programs, the gym can help adults, teens and children find the program best suited to their needs. Powell River Gymnastics’ professionally trained coaches guide young athletes through fundamental fitness regimens at a pace and level suitable and adaptable for every athlete, regardless of ability, says Dillon.

“Our directive is to provide an atmosphere where every athlete feels accepted, valued and respected, all while learning and having a lot of fun,” says Dillon. “We help them build strong foundations, increase their confidence and help them excel in their overall goals.”

Gymnastics head coach Paulo Pena says introducing children to physical fitness early in their lives is a cornerstone of health and child development.

“If there’s one thing we know for a fact it’s that active children become active adults,” he says.

Pena adds that his coaches share the same core values as parents.

“We focus on the same principles you do at home: respect, safety, balancing of challenges and developing lasting life skills,” he says. “Whether an athlete stays with us for two or 20 years, we are thrilled to help them achieve full body control and learn what they are capable of.”

Powell River Gymnastics has something for anyone 16 months or older. Classes and camps run all year and the club is busy taking registration for the upcoming season; some classes are full already. The club even hosts birthday parties and special event gatherings.

“If you want to have a positive experience for you or your child,” says Dillon, “go see the staff at the gymnastics centre.”

For more information about programs and to book, call 604.485.0520, go to prgymnastics.ca or email office@prgymnastics.ca.

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