The Whistler Gymnastics Club was presented three awards by Gymnastics BC at their annual GBC Awards and Scholarship Reception, which took place last Saturday (Oct. 26) at a reception in Vancouver.
The club as a whole earned the BC Play Gymnastics Award in recognition of all the additional programming offered by the club — parent and tot drop-in, gymnastics and trampline programming for all ages, programs like the very popular “Air Kidz” sessions created in cooperation with the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, and more. Whistler Gymnastics also has a dedicated recreational program for athletes that want to learn and occasionally compete in gymnastics, but can’t commit to a full competitive program.
Coach Tami Mitchell also won the Gymnastics BC Volunteer of the Year Award for her recent work on Gymnaestrada — a celebration of gymnastics, dance and the performance side of the sport — and for her continuing work on the provincial GFA (Gymnastocs For All) committee.
“GFA fills the huge gap between recreational and competitive gymnastics,” she explained. “It’s for those gymnasts that wanted more than recreational training but had nowhere to go. GFA filled the gap.”
GFA has produced interclub-level events where athletes can compete in gymnastics but aren’t judged, plus coaching workshops and resources for coaches in smaller towns. GFA is also involved in the “Kids Can Move” program that teaches elementary and high school phys-ed teachers how to coach gymnastics.
As well, Mitchell recently worked on a new cross-training manual for Gymnastics BC that looks at things like strength and conditioning training for gymnasts.
Mitchell said the award was unexpected. “I’m super honoured because I know how many coaches put in hours as volunteers in the sport, and I’m happy to be recognized,” she said.
Last but not least, Whistler Gymnastics’ former general manager and current board member Sheila Mozes was presented with a special Gymnastics BC Life Member Award, recognizing her decades of dedication to the sport at all levels. Not only has she played a large role in developing Whistler Gymnastics and managing the club’s transition to the Oros Whistler Gymnastics Centre in Cheakamus Crossing, she also helped to develop the national Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model for the sport, focusing on the younger Active Start level.