The Terrace Peaks gymnastics club formally wrapped up the 2013/2014 season with year end awards and display June 21.
Gymnasts spent the afternoon showing family and friends their progress before breaking for awards, followed by refreshments, a cakewalk fundraiser and activities.
During the awards, Maya Ebeling received Competitive Female Gymnast of the Year for her “great dedication, a contagious, positive attitude, significant overall sports improvement and true sportsmanship behaviour within the club and at competition.”
Ebeling said she was surprised to hear she’d won. “When I heard I was really excited,” she said, noting that it’s especially motivating because she’s been battling a back injury.
And Interclub Gymnast of the Year went to Ameylia Evans. Evans “overcame many obstacles and shows perseverance in her training. She is a great role model and team player.”
Evans, who prefers competing on floor and has a background in dance, said she was “shocked” to hear she’d won.
And Pyper Testawich took home Recreational Gymnast of the Year.
“This award goes to a gymnast who is dedicated and loves gymnastics so much she comes to drop in as many hours as she can and is also enrolled in a pre-school gymnastics program on Saturday. She shows a true love for the sport at a very young age,” said coach Ambra Marak.
Testawich, who nodded when asked if she was excited, said this is her first medal ever and she is going to keep it in her room.
And Terrace Peaks’ board member Tawnya Schuster was awarded the Club Spirit award.
“We just wanted to recognize her for her years of service. Without the board we’re non-existent, we need the board to stay functional,” said Marak. “To volunteer for seven years it’s an accomplishment for her and a thank you from us.”
Schuster is past vice president of the board, and is now secretary and treasurer.
Schuster has watched the club grow over the years to the point where they have wait lists every day.
While that is a sign of the club’s success and popularity in the community, for Marak it’s also a reminder that the club can’t expand in the way it would like to.
“We can grow and we have the capacity to grow, but we can’t because we’ve just outgrown the gym,” she said.
The club has a master plan for expansion, but would need a major injection of capital to make it happen.
The gym used to get enough money to be fully operational from provincial gaming funds.
“That was great, we didn’t have to fundraise, kids got to go to lots of competitions, new rec equipment was being bought… and then over the years they’ve cut back on gaming funds,” she said, noting that this year, after receiving $6,000 in grants, the club needed to fundraise $33,000 in order to break even. The club has been told not to expect any money from the provincial body next year.
With all fundraising efforts going into just keeping the gym operational, fundraising for the expansion plans has to take a back seat. And Marak worries about what will happen if someday the gym doesn’t get funding or can’t make ends meet.
“Having a gym like this in Terrace is huge for the community, the community needs it,” she said, noting that there aren’t many other drop in recreation groups, especially for young teens. “The gym is a really good way to get that outlet, be active and healthy.”