NVGS seeking sponsors to help fill their foam pit

Mayor Akbal Mund visits the site of the new North Valley Gymnastics Society in the old Vernon RV building on 31st Street beside Chasers Bottle Depot, to purchase the old Vernon RV building on 31st Street beside Chasers Bottle Depot foam block in support of the Fill the Foam Pit fundraiser, which allows people to purchase a block of foam from a gym member for $5. From left, Mayor Akbal Mund, NVGS president, Robin Nanji and her mom, head coach, Kathy Stevens. (Photo submitted)
The winners of the NVGS’s Fill the Foam Pit fundraiser are the JO4s (Junior Olympic-Competitive) team,who raised $1,675 toward the society’s much-needed foam pit. The team includes Emma Locke, Alexis Sibilleau, Neala Hackman, Emilia Spitzer, Olivia Phair, Anna Skelly, Sam Munroe and Avery Goode. In the photo are, from left, Emilia Spitzer, Emma Locke, Neala Hackman, Olivia Phair and Alexis Sibilleau. (Photo submitted)

The North Valley Gymnastics Society is inching closer to getting the gym of their dreams.

Long-time society board member Melissa Locke announced that, as of Wednesday, the NVGS members have raised $10,000 for a foam pit that will be housed in their newly renovated building on 31st Street, through their Fill the Foam Pit fundraiser.

“The foam pit campaign has gone really well,” Locke said. “Every block counts.”

Through the fundraiser, which launched in January, members of the community were asked to support the society’s endeavour by purchasing a block of foam from the NVGS member for $5. Locke said the society needs 4,500 foam blocks to fill the pit — the fundraising goal is $23,000.

Of the $10,00 raised through the campaign, the Junior Olympic-Competitive team (JO4s), which consists of Emma Locke, Alexis Sibilleau, Neala Hackman, Emilia Spitzer, Olivia Phair, Anna Skelly, Sam Munroe and Avery Goode, brought in a whopping raised $1,500, while Emma Locke received a nod for her efforts for bringing in $600 in foam block sales on her own.

According to Locke, the pit is a crucial piece of equipment for gymnasts — functioning as a dismount landing area and providing extra safety. She said the competitive team currently travels to Kelowna to utilize the foam pit at the Okanagan Gymnastics Centre and will “benefit greatly” by having direct access to a foam pit here in Vernon at their own club.

To bring their pit to fruition, Locke said the fundraising campaign is now moving into its second phase —sponsorship.

”We are sending out sponsorship letters to local businesses and groups in hopes of gaining their support,” Locke explained.

That said, she added, the NVGS is still “happily” accepting blocks from their gym members.

In addition to a recreational program, the club also offers a competitive program and includes a team comprised of athletes ages 8 to 16, in the Junior Olympic Levels 4-8. The society offers artistic gymnastics, both competitive and recreational, along with adult drop-ins. There are currently 600 attendees at the NVGS a week, and Locke anticipates that number could climb to about 700 in 2019.

Erin Christie

Morning Star Staff


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