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Gymnastics facility reopens

Kathy Heicher

Limber up.The town of Gypsum, Western Eagle County Metro Recreation District, and Vail Recreation District have partnered to re-open a popular gymnastics facility at the Airport Gateway Commercial Park.Starting June 14, toddlers to 17-year-olds will be able to participate in gymnastics programs at the former Upward Athletic site at 770 Lindbergh Drive in Gypsum. The town of Gypsum recently agreed to purchase $75,000 worth of equipment from the defunct gymnastics business. The Western Eagle County rec district – better known as WECMRD – will take over the administration and facility aspects of the program, and the Vail Recreation District will supply the accredited teachers. The facility will now be called the WECMRD Gymnastics Center.

“This will help to revitalize this popular program, as well as bring back this amazing facility,” said WECMRD Recreation Director Scott Ruff, “According to all of the big gymnastics fans, users, and coaches, this is one of the best, if not the best facility in the state.” The program will be offered with the WECMRD philosophy of providing affordable recreation, Ruff added. Classes will average a little over $10 per session, and will run for six week periods.David Ward, director of gymnastics for the Vail Recreation District, said his organization had the expertise in gymnastics programs. Vail rec currently offers gymnastic programs at Avon. That program will stay the same, and the staff will be extended to cover a full schedule of classes downvalley.”Classes will feature anything from walking toddlers to age-group recreational classes to competitive work,” said Ward. The program will include trampoline type classes for skiers and snowboarders that many want to hone up on their skills so they’ll be ready to head for the hills next ski season.Ward said all of his gymnastics staff are members of the USA Gymnastics association, and have been trained through its national program.The new program is an extension of a recently forged partnership between the recreation districts, Ruff said, adding Vail rec already has an accredited gymnastics staff.”This just shows again how we’re working closely with the other recreation district. We’re not duplicating programs – we’re working together,” he said.

Ward agreed.”Instead of everybody trying to do a little bit of everything, we’re going with the strengths (of each organization),” Ward said. Eventually, the intent is to move the gymnastics program into the future Gypsum Recreation Center. Plans are now underway for that facility. WECMRD will run sessions throughout June of 2005, then re-evaluate the program in light of the valley’s changing recreation picture.


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