The Fort Frances gymnastics clubs are very excited because Mike Lang of Thunder Bay has accepted the job as head coach starting Aug. 1.
Lang started coaching for the Thunder Bay Twisters club 25 years ago. When that club amalgamated with the Thunder Bay Gymnastics Association, he became a competitive coach in the new club and has been there ever since.
Lang has had great success with his athletes in the past, taking many groups to the provincial championships and the Ontario Winter Games.
All the gymnasts in the region know him. He is very willing to give constructive criticism at a meet, and likes to see all the girls do well no matter what club they are from.
The Fort Frances Visserettes & Boys Gymnastics Club and the Fort Frances Trampoline Club are busy working out a timetable for the new season. Lang wants the competitive athletes in trampoline and artistic to train more hours than they have in the past few years.
“You cannot expect to be successful if you do not put the training time in,” he noted. “[But] I will make it so much fun that they will be more than willing to come out and practice.
“There is no reason why training shouldn’t be fun, too,” he stressed.
In other news, the Rainbow Rhythmics Club is offering a variety of gymnastics camps over the summer. For those aged five and up, the recreational day camps will run July 5-9, July 19-23, and Aug. 9-13 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. (there was a mistake in the mailing that went out with the town utility bills).
Lunch and after-class supervision can be arranged upon request.
Lang will do all the August camps, along with Joleen DeBenetti and Kristina Herdman.
Debenetti, a previous provincial gymnast herself, has seven years experience coaching and loves working with all ages. Herdman also was a competitive gymnast, and is now coaching for Superior Trampoline in Thunder Bay and at TBGA Gymnastics Club.
She attends Confederation College in Thunder Bay.
Competitive, interclub, and pre-competitive camps will run July 12-16, Aug. 2-6, and Aug. 16-20. And a “super camp” for competitive athletes is planned Aug. 23-27 from 9 a.m. until noon and again from 1-4 p.m.
Out-of-town coaches will be retained after the coaching symposium to be held here the weekend of Aug. 20 to coach the “super camp.” Lang also will be available.
The symposium will attract coaches from all clubs across the northwest. NCCP Levels 1 & 2 in Trampoline & Artistic will be offered if there is enough interest.
Also Gymnastics Ontario will be offering the risk management workshop now required by all competitive coaches. It will be a very busy week.
Herdman has been hired as the summer student for the Visserettes this year. She will be selling tickets at the farmers’ market and other locations on “The Great Outdoors Basket” and a diamond necklace draw.
Tickets are $2 each.
In other news, the Fort Frances Trampoline Club is working on bringing in a Trampoline Circus from Ottawa on July 21. Unfortunately, it’s been difficult to find a venue with a high enough ceiling since the old high school gym will be closed down and the new one isn’t ready.
“This is an opportunity we hate to miss,” academy co-ordinator Betty Grynol said. “They are making a cross-Canada tour and will be passing through town on that day.”