We Strive to Help Our Gymnasts Reach Their Full Potential In A Safe, Honest, And Encouraging Environment.

About Ashlin

Ashlin Gymnastics Club began training athletes in gymnastics in 1979. The name Ashlin comes from the Gaelic word that means to strive to succeed. Everyday our athletes fulfill this through training and pushing themselves to achieve their goals.

Founder – Brenda (Cameron) Kos

After training and coaching in Edmonton with the Maple Leaf Gym Club, I moved to Bonnyville in 1976, and for the next three years, tried to convince the Arts and Recreation department in Bonnyville that there was an interest, if not a need, for a gymnastics club. This was a tough sell for a town that was a strong supporter of hockey, baseball, and dance….they did not see that there was an interest, none the less a need to offer another sport program. After much deliberation, the department relented, and I less was finally granted the use of the BCHS gymnasium for 2 hours on Saturdays, to offer classes for 24 pre-registered beginner gymnasts(probably to get me off their backs and out of their offices). On the first day of classes, working with minimal equipment 174 kids turned out with their parents to register. Unable to handle that number of aspiring athletes by myself, I enlisted 2 parent volunteers(Marge Poirier and Diane Straile) as junior coaches. Marge continued to coach and specialized in vault, until her job transferred her away from us in the early 1980’s. Diane coached for over 15 years, taking over as head coach in 1988 when I moved to Red Deer.

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Only one season was spent at BCHS, and in 1980 the club moved to Duclos School where there was a more flexible schedule for gym time. Classes were held three weekday evenings and weekends throughout the school year. In 1980, Ashlin Gymnastics Club was officially born. Yvonne Lord(a teacher at Kehewin School) came up with the name “Ashlin”, which is a Gaelic word that means to strive to succeed. With the executive chosen, and coaches in place the club flourished. Parents were trained and sent to Red Deer to get their certification. We had four level 1 coaches, and myself(level 2 gymnastics, level 2 in trampoline and level 1 in judging), and a variety of enthusiastic kids waiting to be moulded.

The number one rule for many years was there was no such thing as “I can’t”. Anyone who came out with those words was subject to extra push-ups, sit-ups or laps. We did not accept defeat…success was only 10% talent and 90% heart. Perfection was demanded, especially with the basics and our kids rose to the challenge. Working on the merit badge system, anyone who was awarded a badge had EARNED it. Three years after the inception of the club,, the first group of athletes were sent to the University of Alberta for summer training. Athletes were to register based on their current level, and it was soon apparent to the coaches in Edmonton if the athlete came from Bonnyville they needed to be placed two levels higher in order to be in a suitable training class.

From the beginning, the lack of suitable equipment was an issue that parents solved by working bingos, fundraisers and applying for grants in order to obtain even the basic items. Once suitable equipment was purchased the recreational program expanded to include a competitive program. Each gymnasts in this program took advantage of road trips to Red Deer for additional training with higher level coaches and equipment, and began attending meets across northern Alberta. The dedication of the gymnasts and their parents was exceptional and the addtion of a dance instructor Danita Smith(former gymnasts and coach) helped the athletes to excel on another level. Danita continued to coach into the 1980’s and still lives in the Bonnyville area.

One example of the incredible dedication of the girls is best shown by a gymnast who had an accident at school just days prior to a competition. In the ambulance on her way to Edmonton, she kept reminding her mother to remember to get the tape(with all the free ex music) to the gym before the competition. She underwent surgery, and lost one of her eyes from the injur, and the first thing she said coming out of the anestheic was….” Did the tape get to the gym?” Even with needing to re-train her body for spacial awareness after her recovery, it was never a question that she would return to the gym and start training as soon as her doctor gave her his blessing.
Coaches and competitive athletes were given courses in sport massage and coaches were trained in sports medicine. All the training helped in the prevention of injuries and rapid recovery from any injuries that did happen. Since hand-guard were a rare commodity at the time the most common injury was tearing the blisters on hands while working on the uneven bars. The girls were told an old remedy to healing faster was to pee on their hands(uric acid would cauterize the wound). One of the girls who tore a hand decided to try the remedy, and immediately disappeared to the washroom. When she came out whe was thoroughly disgusted. Whe asked if it was all that bad, and did she remember to wash her hands after, she replied, “It wouldn’t have been half as bad if I didn’t pee on the wrong hand first!” And yes she washed her hands after.

By the mid 1980’s, the club had a consistent registration of over 200 athletes at various levels, a strong competitive team, a variety of equipment and had established a fund that was steadily growing dedicated to purchase a training facility. We hosted several open-house events, competitions as well as the NEARA Games. On one occasion, a reporter from the Bonnyville Nouvelle attended a class for the competitive gymnasts. She observed the girls being pushed and prodded to achieve their best, and one girl who was determined to reach her goal of a 10% over-split, was even in self-inflicted tears. At the end of the session, the girls all got their typical hug before they left. The reporter then approached me and paid me one of the best compliments I could have asked for…..she said, ” I don’t know why those girls seem to like you so much, your are so hard on them.” Even she could see that we were not just a team, we were a Family.

When I left Bonnyville in 1988 the club was only a year or two away from purchasing their own building and new equipment to fill it. Although I was not around to see this, I am still very proud of the fact that the sport that was never supposed to be part of Bonnyville is still here, and still doing so well.

We are a non-profit society that is run by a Board of Directors. The 2020-2021 Board is as follows:

 

Chair – Linda Rondeau

Vice-Chair – Brandi Vigne

Secretary – Rebecca Blackburn

Treasurer- Mary Ann Wood

Co-Treasurer – Stacie MacNeil

Bingo Coordinator – Melissa Solowuniuk

Co Bingo Coordinator – Patty L’Hereux

Fundraising Coordinator – Janice Baillargeon

Competitive Liaison – Jessica Szydlik

Inclusive Liaison – Janelle Arnold

Building Maintenance – Lisa McRae

Grants – Tina Boucher & Cassie Lesyk

Board Position Details


President Position
The President must attend all meetings of the club and all committees. He/She when present shall chair all executive and committee meetings. He/She should keep all meeting(s) in order and pertinent to the issue at hand. The President may vote when the vote is tied. The President must work in conjunction with the Head Coach of the gym to ensure that the daily functioning of the gym is being attended to. The President must sign all correspondence of the Club, and provide contact information where necessary ad is the main contact for the Club in all matters except with coaching concerns and towards people onto the appropriate board member for assistance. The President shall work with any other board member that may require additional assistance.
Meetings
Ensure that agendas for meetings are given a week prior to the board meeting.
Grant
Supervise and submit all grant submissions.
Coach
The president is the first in line of contact for the Head Coach.
Vice President Position
The Vice-President should render valuable aid to the President and be ready to take the President’s place at any time. He/She fills in for the President at any meetings if the President is unable to attend and will chair said meeting. The Vice President shall work with any other board member that may require additional assistance. If for some reason the President is unable to fulfill their duties as President the Vice President will take over the position until a suitable candidate can be appointed.
Meetings
Vice President will preside over any meetings the president is unable to attend.
General
The Vice President will be in charge of fundraising in conjunction with the President.
Treasure Position
The treasure must keep a detailed record of all sums received and expended and give a complete report at every meeting of the board to be attached to the minutes as well as an oral report to the members of the board. He/She shall obtain estimates if needed. Monthly payroll and remittance to Revenue Canada must be rendered before the due date. He/She must pay all bills, except those that are already set up direct payment once payment has been approved by the board. He/She will also prepare the annual return as required by the Societies Act. He/She must also prepare, in conjunction with the Bingo Chair, the Annual Bingo Audit as required by Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.
Petty Cash
The treasurer must reconcile the petty cash box at the end of every month.
Secretary Position
The secretary will be responsible for the minutes of the meetings. He/She assist the President by recounting, by reading the exact working of a motion, and by giving information about unfinished business or action already taken by the meeting. He/She shall write the necessary letters for the meetings of the Club and post up the dates and times at the Club facility. The secretary will keep the minute book for the Club. The secretary shall work with any other board member that my require additional assistance.
Meetings
The secretary must have the minutes delivered to the board members via e-mail within one week of the meeting. When there is a change in board members the Secretary must ensure that the minutes of the Board meeting where the changes have come into effect are updated in the proper format to be given to the bank for their records.
Bingo Chair & Co-Chair
Bingo Chair Position/Co-Chair (2 positions)

The Bingo Chair will report on the going on of the Bingos that month to the board members at the reqularly scheduled meeting. He/She must attend the annual meetings of Bonnyville Bingo Association and Special meetings as required on behalf of the Club. The Bingo Chair is responsible to make sure that the Club pays the membership fee to the Bonnyville Bingo Association. He/She will trade bingos with other clubs to ensure that the Club has a least one bingo per month and at least 6 weeks free in the summer(early July to late August). They must also provide sign-up sheets for upcoming bingos for registration days and must ensure the schedule with the appropriate personnel for each bingo is posted at the facility, not later than 3 weeks after a session has stared. They must also contact scheduled workers 4-7 days prior to the bingo to remind them of times, dates and to confirm attendance. They will also, in conjunction with the Treasurer, prepare the Annual Bingo audit as required by AGLC. The Bingo Chair will be responsible for all bingo correspondence to and from AGLC and will report such correspondence at board meetings. They will also provide all financial information pertaining to Bingos to the Treasurer for input into the clubs fiances and ensure that the proper bills are paid at each bingo. They will also make sure that if there is a parent that does not show for their bingo that the Treasure knows to cash the bond cheque that was left at registration. They will also ensure that any other volunteer activities that are required by parents of the club are scheduled and parents are contacted prior to their scheduled activity.

The Bingo Chair is to ensure that the new elected board signs the new board members form to be sent to AGLC. The Bingo Chair shall work with any other board member that may require additional assistance. This position is done with the assistance of the Administrative Assistant of the Club.

Registrar Position
The Registrar is responsible for all the registration of athletes of the club. They shall ensure that registrations are advertised in the paper and community events in a timely manner. They shall also ensure that the proper forms and other supplies are at the registration day and make sure that there aare the appropriate volunteers in attendance. He/She will fill out the proper forms for registration of the Club, information and bond cheques are collected from all parents and/or athletes. this position is with the assistance of the Administrative Assistant.
Record Keeping
The registrar will keep all registration forms from all sessions in files at the gym for a minimum of 3 years and that the files are properly labeled and sorted. They must also make sure that registration receipts are given out no later than 3 weeks after a session has started. If there are receipts that have not been picked up after week 6 the registrar will ensure that they are mailed to the proper address. The registrar will also ensure that the database of all athletes is up to date and available for other board members to print reports as they needed. This position is with the help of the Administrative Assistant.
General
The registrar will work with the head coach with a friend days and make sure that there is proper signs posted at the facility prior to these days for the next available registration.
Competitive Liaison
The Competitive Liaison will work directly with the competitive head coach to ensure that all packages for meets are created and distributed. This person will also be responsible for updating the Athlete information binder and ensuring that it is accessible for the coach at all meets in case of emergencies. This person will also report competitive issues to the board. They will also assist any other board members that may require additional assistance.

Our current coaches are:

Head Coach
Nicole Abraham

Jenna Regimbald

Jenna Regimbald

Coach - Level 1

Tiffany Friesen

Tiffany Friesen

Coach- Shooting Stars

Fundraisers

 

Mabel’s Labels:

Mabel’s Labels are personalized peel and stick labels that safely go in the laundry, dishwasher and microwave. They’re a reliable product that parents love and they’re perfect for all your kids’ stuff – from shoes and clothes to water bottles, lunch boxes, backpacks, school supplies and more! Our large range of labels and tags suit a host of different needs, whether you’re labelling your baby’s items for daycare or your child’s gear for camp.

This fundraiser is available all year long. Simply go to the site, search for Ashlin Gymnastics and shop away! Thank you for your support.