The Trail Gymnastics Club (TGC) is literally doing cartwheels in recognition of its 50th year and celebrating it with a birthday party on Thursday.
The club is holding an open house and invites the public to check out its gymnasts’ routines, try out the equipment, and enjoy a barbecue at its facility at the Greater Trail Community Centre.
“This year we are actually celebrating our 50th year, which is pretty impressive,” said TGC board member Stephanie Buhler. “It’s the longest running competitive club in B.C.”
High school teacher Alex Ross started the club in 1962 as a J. L. Crowe Gymnastics Club and it soon became a provincial power house.
“To this day, there are probably more high-school banners for gymnastics than other sports,” said Trail gymnastics instructor Chris Bucchini who has been involved with the club for 30 years.
The TGC has evolved over the years, seen various venues, and now includes recreational and competitive classes for all ages.
“We’ve got kids in here from Christina Lake to Salmo and everywhere in between,” said Bucchini. “So we are really a regional district kind of club.”
Today the club has about 280 members in addition to numerous groups that book the facility for birthday parties, family nights, cross training, fitness clubs and other activities.
Bucchini is supported by Nicola Marynowski of Rossland who has been coaching the club for about seven years
“It’s a very rewarding profession,” said Marynowski. “You get to see the kids progress as they learn, so it’s always really exciting when they learn new skills.”
Marynowski came to the area for the ski season and never left, joining the club as coach shortly after her arrival. The Ladner native has about 20 years coaching experience and is a NCCP level 2 certified.
Marynowski, Bucchini and the rest of the junior coaches will be at the Open House Thursday offering their help to anyone who wants to tumble, learn about the club and the facility, or just enjoy the gymnasts’ routines.
The Open House and barbecue goes from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. If planning on participating, comfortable gym wear is recommended.