Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star Coach Naomi Rokus helps competitive gymnast Carys Reed on the uneven bars Thursday in North Valley Gymnastics’ current location.

Gymnasts finally find a home

North Valley Gymnasts Society purchases building

Vernon’s North Valley Gymnastics Society will soon tumble into its own facility.

After 20-plus years of working out of leased or rented facilities, the society has purchased the old Vernon RV building on 31st Street beside Chasers Bottle Depot.

“It’s super exciting,” said society board member Melissa Locke, a former gymnast with the club whose daughter is now a member. “Oh my gosh, there’s so much work still to be done but we’re excited to have a building that we can make our own. I’m thrilled my daughter will be getting better training opportunities than I did.”

The club started offering programs and lessons in the gym at Beairsto Elementary, then moved to the Vernon Recreation Complex auditorium. In both cases, instructors, parents and gymnasts were responsible for setting up and taking down the equipment before and after each session.

For the past couple of years, North Valley Gymnastics has operated in a leased facility on 45th Avenue.

Actually, it was two leased units.

“We had to tear down the wall between the two units to make room for our programs,” said Locke. “Now, we’re going to have to rebuild the wall.”

Besides rebuilding a wall at its current location, the society will have to do extensive renovations to convert the new facility to a gym. The ceilings are high enough, but the club will have to build change rooms. They’re also hoping to add on to the existing facility to put in foam pits.

“We are seeking support from the community in relation to donations, fundraising opportunities, major and minor sponsorships, donation of building materials, etc,” said Locke. The club will be selling 50/50 tickets at the Funtastic Slo-Pitch Tournament Canada Day long weekend.

North Valley Gymnastics Society offers women’s artistic gymnastics, both competitive and recreational, along with adult drop-ins. The new facility, said Locke, will allow the club to expand its programs.

The club is also hoping to partner with schools that have disposed of their equipment to offer gymnastic opportunities for students.

For more information on the club or to help with the new facility, call 250-558-5136, or visit its website, www.nvgym.com.