Barrie Kempettes Gymnastics Club History

The Barrie Kempettes Gymnastics Club was formally known as the Barrie Gymnastics Club. Dave Boyd started the Club in 1965 with a small group of girls at Steele Street Public School. Dr. John Scott formally organized the Club in 1967 and it became affiliated with the Ontario Gymnastics Federation. The Club operated with a small group of 12 gymnasts and 1 coach. In 1976, Barrie Gymnastic Club endeavoured to restructure the club toward progressive program of recreational and competitive gymnastics. With the co-operation of Herb Coutier, the Club was able to offer a Saturday morning recreational program at Georgian College using previous members as coaches. This program ran with an average of 75 girls ages 5 to 15. The Club hired a full-time coach and approximately 10 part-time junior coaches as the Club continued to expand. A summer program was introduced using facilities at Central Collegiate and Eastview Collegiate. It was at this time that the Club started to enter meets in Toronto as well as host its own meet. The Barrie Gymnastics Club became incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1986. In 1989/1990, under the guidance of president Robert Bunford, the Club began actively looking for an alternative location. In April 1990, we moved into our first permanent facility at 110 Anne St. South, with over 6,000 sq, feet of space.

During 1993,the Club officially changed its name to “Barrie Kempettes Gymnastics Club”. Once again, in 1993/1994 we found ourselves unable to meet the needs of the growing Barrie community. Our programs were full and we were unable to expand. In October 1993, Barrie Kempettes moved from Anne St. to 500 Welham Rd. and a 10,000 sq. foot facility. With the help of Ministry grants, Barrie Kempettes has been fortunate in installing new equipment that has been instrumental in improving the training level of our gymnasts. The Club moved to our present facility at 145 Welham Rd. in February 2001. This 14,000 sq. foot facility gives us the space we need to meet the demand for quality gymnastics programs in Barrie. The Barrie Kempettes Gymnastics Club now offers recreational programs in artistic gymnastics, tumbling and trampoline for boys and girls, as well as Provincial and National Competitive programs in Artistic and Tumbling. In 2004, a Demo Team program was started where gymnasts perform and compete as a team. The year 2004 also marked the first Robert Bunford Memorial Invitational meet in honour of the Club’s most dedicated President. Our Board of Directors consists of volunteer parents. Our Head Coach, Kim Poole, has been coaching for the Club since 1985. We now employ a Head Coach and an administrator, and up to 25 part-time coaches.

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