Gymnastics an all encompassing sport

Gymnastics is a sport that is exciting, engaging and can further athletes in more than just the sport itself.

Gymnastics is a sport that is exciting, engaging and can further athletes in more than just the sport itself.

Here in Lacombe, a local gymnastics club of 180 members is making those benefits available to the community.

Coach Darlene Boyko, who heads the Lacombe Gymnastics club, said that gymnastics is a great sport as it works all of the body and touches on so many different aspects of athleticism.

Strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and spatial awareness, just to name a few, are all aspects of gymnastics that are transferable to a number of different sports, she said.

“It’s the basis for all sports,” said Boyko.

She added that the benefits of gymnastics are obvious when gymnasts participate in a number of other sports as well.

For example, ball players hit harder and have better coordination than those without that experience.

Other skills, like concentration, can be honed through gymnastics as well, said Boyko. Of course, it is also a great way to stay fit.

Boyko has been coaching Lacombe Gymnastics for nine years.

Before that, she had a year and a half of previous experience coaching a club in Red Deer.

She had an interest in gymnastics from when she was quite young and started practicing the sport early in her college career, she said.

A bit of a thrill seeker, the excitement and adrenaline rush of gymnastics is what led Boyko to her involvement in gymnastics.

But, Boyko took a break from the sport and hadn’t had any involvement with gymnastics for about 25 years prior to coaching.

She said it was coaching young students and seeing them develop as gymnasts that re-invigorated her love of the sport and is the reason she continues her involvement today.

“The girls who are coaching now, I was coaching eight years ago when they were eight and nine years old and now they are 16, 17 and coaching themselves,” said Boyko.

“So it’s kind of nice to see it come full-circle.”

Lacombe Gymnastics Club starts teaching skills to gymnasts almost as soon as they can walk.

At as young as 18 months, children can enter the Lacombe Gymnastics Ladybugs parent tot program. At this young age, parents help guide their children and help teach them the very basics of gymnastics including body awareness, spatial awareness and how to line up.

From there, Boyko coaches right up to the provincial level of gymnastics. Everything from fl oor routines, to uneven bars, to tumbling, to trampoline is included at Lacombe Gymnastics.

While Boyko is not certified to coach men’s gymnastics, she does run a park-hour (free-running) program for older boys and has a drop-in teen program as well.

Lacombe Gymnastics boasts an impressive roster of coaches.

In addition to Boyko, there is a former member of the Acronaires and a Perfect Storm Athletics cheerleader that coach as well, said Boyko.

The different specialties of each of the coaches help break up monotony of the classes and keep things fun and interesting, she added.

“We try to keep it as engaging as possible,” said Boyko.

She added that the club also hosts workshops and seminars to this effect as well.

Students who wish to expand their gymnastics experience are welcome to coach too.

Boyko said a Coach In Training (CIT) program from Alberta Gymnastics is also run through the club and many of her students are now coaching classes of their own.

As a bonus, these students even get work experience credit in high school for their coaching.

While Lacombe’s club is classified as a recreational one, students do get the opportunity to compete, but it’s not necessary to do so in order to excel in the sport.

Boyko said that students and their families decide how many competitions, if any, to participate in on their own.

For students who are a little more competitive, but at the same time don’t want the full stress of traveling and competing in front of judges, there is also a performance program.

Boyko said this group is for gymnasts who have or want to showcase their skills like the competitors do, but in a more informal setting.


Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

United Nurses of Alberta is slamming Health Minister Tyler Shandro for suggesting staff vacations are causing emergency room problems. (Black Press Media files)
Physicians were suffering burnout and then the pandemic made it worse, UBC study finds

Burnout prevalent among 68 per cent of doctors – likely a reflection of issue globally, says researcher

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. The federal government is bringing in a new coal policy saying new or expanded thermal coal mines create unacceptable environmental impacts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable environmental effects:’ New federal policy restricts thermal coal

Policy puts another roadblock in front of Coalspur Mines and its Alberta Vista mine expansion

Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health Director General Nobuhiko Okabe speaks during a press conference after a roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures at Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo, Friday, June 11, 2021. A group of experts participated in a third roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures proposed for audience-related infection control. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics still undecided on fans — or no fans at all

Fans from abroad already banned from what is shaping up to be a largely made-for-television event

Most Read