Family and friends help out after an intense storm causes flooding at the Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastics Association’s facility on Mackenzie Avenue. (Photo submitted)

Family and friends help out after an intense storm causes flooding at the Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastics Association’s facility on Mackenzie Avenue. (Photo submitted)

Gymnastics club weather pandemic, then flooding, but still rise up to finish the season

The competitive team travelled to Kelowna, Prince George for in-person competitions

Members of the Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastics Club have proven they are a resilient bunch.

After weathering two years of tough COVID restrictions, which resulted in no in-person meets for the competitive team since February 2020, the association was hit with extensive flooding following an evening storm June 16.

“Water was literally coming in like a swimming pool,” said head coach Annie Glanville at their current facility on Mackenzie Avenue. “We know we’ve lost tens of thousands of dollars in mats.”

On the weekend, volunteers filled and placed a hundred sandbags to stop future flooding at the back of the building. Businesses and families have been stopping in and making donations to the group, as fans were kept running for days trying to dry out the floors.

Glanville, who noted their insurance will not cover the loss, said the flood has proven what the club really needs is a new facility, and she wonders where plans are at for a multi-sport indoor facility, something local sports groups have been advocating for for years.

“It’s so important, more than ever.”

In the meantime the group will push forward with training and conditioning as they wind down their season.

The group’s competitive team had two successful competitions in the last two months, one in Kelowna in May and one in P.G. in June.

Led by Glanville, the competitive team of 27 athletes ages six to 15 is also coached by Laura Strang, Caroline Thornhill, Peggy Willcox and Shaelynn Dyck.

Being a part of the team requires dedication and hard work from the children and their families, but Glanville believes the rewards are well worth it.

“Gymnastics gives them self-confidence, endurance, focus, fitness and flexibility,” she said. “And these kids are like family, they spend so much time together. Those friendships last a lifetime.”

The competitive team includes CCP Level 1, Level 3 and Level 6 athletes who practice between six and 16 hours per week, depending on the level.

For the next season, Glanville said there will be 38 spots available for the competitive team, an increase from this season thanks to the addition of new coach and Level 6 competitor Eloise Hobi, who is now certified to train Level 1.

Tryouts for the team are set for June 27, with sign up in advance.


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Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastics Association members pitch in to sandbag the back of the building on the weekend. (Photo submitted)

Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastics Association members pitch in to sandbag the back of the building on the weekend. (Photo submitted)