Club remains popular option

Pictou Advocate sports

NEW GLASGOW — More than 400 members are once again registered for the Pictou County Gymnastics Club as its full program resumes.

Many gymnasts took advantage of summer events, but the 2017-18 season has begun in earnest at the club’s locations on South Frederick Street.

Recreational director Ally Forbes explained competitive gymnasts kept attending while recreational ones generally take off July and August.

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“There are lots of classes that are full,” she said.

Mostly girls have registered for the club, but the proportion of boys signing up is rising, she said.

“We have significantly more girls, but we have more boys than ever — between 50 and 60 this season,” she said. “The age range and skill level is from pre-school to competitive.”

Learning gymnastics skills in a safe environment with plenty of coaching and supervision makes gymnastics less daunting than it may seem, Forbes said.

“We always work up the skills,” she said. “The bigger ones are less demanding when you break down the bigger skills into smaller skills.”

Programs, such as Jump Start and Kids Sport, help the club attract members whose families otherwise could not afford it.

“We want to be a welcoming place for gymnastics for those from all walks of life,” she said.

The emergence of Nova Scotia phenom Ellie Black, who is a world-class gymnast and was recently ranked 12th among Nova Scotian athletes, is a plus for gymnastics generally and for the Pictou County club in particular, Forbes said.

“She’s a great role model,” she said. “All the kids are big fans; they’re excited to watch her.”


Rogan Vint practises on the balance beam while Pictou County Gymnastics Club head coach Wendy Cruickshank watches. (Goodwin photo)

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Steve Goodwin was born in Amherst, N.S. and has been a journalist for more than 40 years. He has been a resident of Pictou County for nearly 40 years.