Golden’s Kicking Horse Gymnastics Club goes virtual during COVID-19

Head coach Hailey Boustead has spent hours putting together online classes for her athletes at home.

Kayla Sherriff is all smiles at the only meet the club was able to attend this season, in Cranbrook earlier in March. (Submitted)

Kayla Sherriff is all smiles at the only meet the club was able to attend this season, in Cranbrook earlier in March. (Submitted)

Kicking Horse Gymnastics Club (KHGC) is finding a new way to ensure the athletes continue to stay healthy and active from the safety of their own homes by launching an online program to get about 150 members of KHGC moving during COVID-19.

During the past eight weeks, when GymBC mandated that all gymnastics clubs close, KHGC athletes have not been able to train, a quarter of which are competitive athletes.

The club anticipates to take a significant financial hit during this time, but will continually alter operations to keep gymnastics in Golden with the support of government assistance programs and grants. KHGC President Betty Watson alongside the rest of the board members has been working to ensure the club remains operational.

“With the support of GymBC, we have been able to move ahead with remote training for our athletes,” said Watson.

“We have a wonderful dedicated coach, Hailey Boustead, who has pushed forward with limited programming via remote training. She has been able to engage our athletes in their homes and challenges them through conditioning and skills. Our young people are looking for consistency and this a great way to make that connection.”

Read more: Kicking Horse Gymnastics Club off to a good start with competitive and recreational season

Boustead saw an opportunity to engage athletes at a distance and has spent hours developing an online program that delivers live classes to athletes at home. Boustead’s main objective has been to ensure that the gymnasts continue to exercise and stay fit while staying connected.

“We have had to take our training into our homes with little to no equipment, and we have made the absolute best of it”, says Boustead. “It has been very interesting re-working programs in ways that focus on basic techniques, strength training, and maintaining skills even when not actually being able to perform them.”

KHGC athletes who were enrolled as of Sept. 2019 are now able to access programs for athletes of various skill levels. Programs are offered in four-week sessions, which will give families the flexibility to continue to enjoy other spring activities.

GymBC will work together with KHGC to find creative ways to reopen operations.

“We are closely monitoring the requirements set out by GymBC, the Provincial Health Authority and WorkSafe BC and will ensure that any opening falls in line with their directives. We know our athletes are anxiously awaiting a green light to come back and we really want to see them back,” explained Watson.

For more information on the club, or to register your gymnast for an online program, please go to http://khgym.weebly.com/, or contact the club administrator at office.khgym@gmail.com.

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