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Gymnastics club offering new programs, coach

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The Fort Frances Gymnastics Academy will spring into action for another season under a new head coach and additional programs designed for both youngsters and adults.

Being introduced for the first time this fall is an adult program, designed for anyone aged 16 and over, to come out and use the facilities.

“Everyone is encouraged to come out and have some fun,” club co-ordinator Betty Grynol said last week, adding people are free to choose which activities they want to participate in.

The adult class will be taught by new club coach, Mohamed Somji, a former coach of the elite Toronto Wistonettes club, who will be spending his first season here.

Somji was introduced to Fort Frances earlier this summer when he helped coach the club’s summer camp.

Grynol said she was elated to acquire a coach of Somji’s expertise, and was optimistic he will be a welcome addition to their staff.

Meanwhile, registration for the 1998-99 season is slated today and tomorrow from 6-9 p.m. at the academy (835 Mackenzie Ave.)

Grynol noted registration was up slightly last year compared to previous years, in part because school teachers brought in their classes during the weekdays as a form of recreation.

A new twist for the club, also designed to boost attendance, will see it host birthday parties. Parents would be able to book time in the academy for a party, with the kids having access to the various equipment.

“All the other clubs down east do it, kind of like taking the kids bowling for a birthday party,” said Grynol, noting they are still looking to add insurance coverage for the parties.

Also this season, parents will not face mandatory bingo commitments to help raise funds to offset the cost of the programs offered on a weekly basis from Sept. 8-May 1, 1999.

Grynol said in many instances, it was the same set of parents who expressed interest in volunteering at the bingos and the club often was left without help after people pulled out of their commitments at the last minute.

Meanwhile, to help alleviate some of the financial burdens parents may have incurred due to the ongoing mill strike, the gymnastics club will be offering “special” financing to families.

“Every family will be different so we’ll have to sit down and look at each individual situation,” noted Grynol. “We may allow them to defer their payments later or pay by Visa.

“We just hope people don’t take advantage of the situation,” she pleaded.

Programs being offered include boys’ gym (five years and up), interclub girls (Merit), recreational gym (five years and up), competitive girls’ gymnastics, trampoline, and rythmics (eight years and up), KinderGym Mini (two-five years), pre-comp A and B girls (six-nine years), Homeschool gym, drop-in gymnastics, and adult gym or trampoline.

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