Spring floor at Spring Fling

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Olds Gymnastics Club plans to allow Spring Fling patrons to try out the spring floor the club wants

Those who go to the Olds Gymnastics Club section at this year’s edition of Spring Fling will have a chance to do something different – jump on a piece of spring floor, like the one the club plans to install in its new premises.

That’s the word from Julie Johnston, president of the Olds Gymnastics Club.

“We need to have a spring floor because right now, our floor only has about an inch of kind of foam so (kids in the club are) not able to get any further than a handspring and a back tuck, whereas the spring floor gives you that spring,” Johnston says.

“We would have that mat, that would be the top. Then there’s a layer of plywood and then there’s more foam and then the springs are underneath the plywood, so when they do jump, it has that spring,” Johnston adds.

“It gives them a little bit of jump too so they’re able to bounce out of their flips and stuff easier. Right now when you land on that floor, it’s a good thud, where if you’re on a spring floor, it would even kind of pop you a little bit.”

The Olds Gymnastics Club is one of four charities or non-profit groups that will benefit from the second annual Spring Fling, a kind of community party/multi-group fundraiser celebrating the arrival of spring.

This year’s Spring Fling takes place Friday, April 8, 7 p.m. at the Cow Palace.

Patrons vote for any one of four local causes. The one receiving the most votes will receive 50 per cent of the proceeds. The remaining funds are split between the other three causes.

In addition to the Olds Gymnastics Club, other groups slated to receive funds are a project to expand the Holy Trinity School playground; funding to cover costs for the Chinook Arch Victims Services compassion dog; and Hope4MVCKids, which raises money to help families within Mountain View County who have a child with medical needs.

Tickets are $75 each. Fun drinks and fancy hotdogs will be available.

Johnston says in its area of the Cow Palace, the Olds Gymnastics Club will have a section of a spring floor, just like the one they’re ordering.

“So that’ll be kind of fun. They can give it a try and see how different it is,” she says.

When asked if the club has insurance in case some patrons get in trouble, Johnston says they’re ready.

“We have insurance,” she says. “They don’t have to be doing flipping, but they can jump and tell the difference just from jumping.”

Currently, the Olds Gymnastics Club meets at Olds Elementary School.

“We can only run classes after school hours and certain days, because they have their other things that go on. So we’re only limited to certain days of the week that we can be in there,” Johnston says.

Also, they need more space.

“Right now we have about 150 kids registered and we always seem to have waiting lists, so we could probably accommodate quite a few more,” Johnston says.

The club hopes to relocate and is in the process of securing space at the former Sears location. If all goes well, they hope to be in there by April 1.

The Sears location would provide the club with about 5,000 square feet of space.

The club estimates the ceilings at the Sears space to be about 16 feet high; not as high as the 20 feet or more club members would like to have, but they can live with that for now.

“The main part that they need is for the uneven bars, when the girls do the big swings on the high bar of the uneven bars. They can still do it, they would just have to practise with bent legs rather than straight legs,” Johnston says.

“But we don’t have any girls at that level quite yet, so that’s why we’re saying we have a few years before we have to maybe find a different space or see about increasing (the height of) the roof for that.

“It’s like a stepping stone, I guess. We would love to have higher ceilings, but there’s just nothing out there right now.”

Johnston has heard that other clubs have approached the town about the possibility of constructing a field house. If that happens, she’s hopeful it could have high enough ceilings for the gymnastics club.

dcollie@olds.greatwest.ca

“It gives them a little bit of jump too so they’re able to bounce out of their flips and stuff easier. Right now when you land on that floor, it’s a good thud, where if you’re on a spring floor, it would even kind of pop you a little bit.” JULIE JOHNSTONPRESIDENT OLDS GYMNASTICS CLUB

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.