As the North Valley Gymnastics Club rebuilds itself after a devastating fire, another local gymnastics club is lifting the roof – literally.
Vernon-based Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics is organizing a fundraiser to raise the roof of their building to better serve their students.
Founded by former Commonwealth Games competitor and Olympian Camille Martens, ORG is recognized as one of the top rhythmic gymnastics clubs in Canada, producing more than 20 world-class athletes since its inception in 1997.
As of January 1, 2022, the rulebook for international level gymnastics requires higher apparatus throws, which means that without a high throw, athletes will not receive points which will have a huge impact on their final score and ranking.
This means that the minimum pitch height for some of the ORG athletes is around 23 feet. The current height of the indoor gymnasium is 18 feet.
âOur ceiling seems high to many spectators, but with the new rules, our athletes simply cannot meet the requirements with the current ceiling height. We rent the Priest Valley Gym or the Recreation Center Auditorium when we can, but we really need all of our athletes to have the opportunity to learn superior throwing techniques and train them on a daily basis, âMartens said.
âWe will have to apply for a waiver with the RDNO and hope to get some ideas from engineers / architects on how to raise the roof as quickly as possible without installation. This community has always mobilized to support its athletes. I’m excited to see how we can collaboratively create this possibility for these dedicated and talented gymnasts. “
On Saturday, November 27 at 3 p.m., ORG will have an exhibit at the Performing Arts Center featuring pre-competitive, competitive and elite-level athletes.
âThe 75 minute display will include a demonstration of how the current cap limits our throws and how a higher cap would change everything for our team. If any supporters, architects, engineers, city or regional district officials would like free tickets, please contact us as we would love to hear from you as we embark on this project, âMartens said.