Island Gymnastics Academy Recognized by Gymnastics Canada as Top National Club in the Country
The Island Gymnastics Academy recently won a prestigious national award from Gymnastics Canada. The Ed Brougham Club Award- Category 2 has never been awarded to any club east of Ontario. The Academy’s selection for this award is a tribute to the club’s demonstration of exceptional services and outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of the sport of gymnastics.
The criteria for the award included the number of various disciplines and programs offered by the club, community contribution in areas of governance and leadership, event hosting, number of members and club growth, level of coach education and certification, competitive success up to the national level, and contribution to judging development.
A Not for Profit (incorporated in 1981), Island Gymnastics Academy has grown to be one of the largest and most successful sport programs in PEI. They currently have over 1000 registered gymnasts up from 600 in 2005, and they continue to expand. Programs include all levels of recreation and competitive gymnastics, a satellite program in Montague, a Special Olympics class, cross training with synchronized swimmers, and classes for all ages and abilities; from toddlers right up to adult. The Academy is well-regarded nationally for the quality of its highly trained coaching staff and employs numerous NCCP Level 3 staff and two Level 4 coaches. The club also employs 8 full-time and 20 part-time staff.
The club has hosted Canadian Gymnastics Championships twice, Eastern Canadians twice, Atlantic Championships nine times, countless provincial and invitational meets, as well as hosting the Prince Edward Classic for the past 30 years. The PE Classic is the largest meet in Atlantic Canada with over 500 gymnasts competing. Board and committee contributions by club members have included Gymnastics PEI, Gymnastics Canada, the PEI High Performance Coaches Committee and Sport PEI. The Academy has the only two gymnastics Learning Facilitators on PEI and has hosted every level of NCCP certification course since 1980 including the Level 4 module following the 2011 Nationals. The club has also hosted every men’s and women’s judging course for PEI. In addition, the Academy provides judging for the local school meets each year.
Academy gymnasts have a long history of competitive success including several National team members: Matthieu D’Amour, Scott Chandler, Brett Martin and Parker Ramsay. International competitions have included events in Bermuda, United States, Belgium, and Japan. Sport PEI also awarded its highest honour, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award to two Academy athletes: Scott Chandler in 1992 and Matt D’Amour in 2009.
In 2011, the club purchased $100,000 in new equipment and donated $60,000 worth of used equipment to three PEI clubs and thirteen Island schools. The majority of the equipment was donated to Summerside Saultos, which enabled this club to move into a full-time facility. With the administrative, technical and financial support of Island Gymnastics Academy, the club has thrived in Summerside and continues to grow.
“We are really proud to be chosen from so many great Canadian clubs. Our contribution to the gymnastics community and sport leadership is being recognized as top of its class in the country. It’s a first for an Atlantic club.” says Head Coach Jim Rand.