Saltos group excited about moving into new digs

Dave Kearsey
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Rachel Davis is seen in action on the bars at Saltos Gymnastics Club Thursday. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

CORNER BROOK  Rachel Davis can’t wait to see how much better life gets as a gymnast with an adequate training facility at her disposal.

Davis is one of the budding members of the Saltos Gymnastics Club that will move its programs to the Pepsi Studio next weekend.

Involved with gymnastics since she was two years old, Davis, an 11-year-old student at C. C. Loughlin School, is excited about the move because life at the old venue hasn’t been a flip in the park with inadequate space and ventilation issues in the forefront of the group’s growing concerns along the journey to finding new digs for the club.

“At our gym it’s really small and really hard to use all our equipment,” Davis said Thursday after taking a break from practice to discuss the move with The Western Star.

Saltos Gymnastics Club announced Wednesday night that the group is moving into the Pepsi Studio next weekend. The move is deemed an immediate, but temporary solution to the group’s concerns with the existing facility on Wellington Street presented to the athletes and coaches.

“This is an immediate solution to an ongoing problem we’ve been having,” Saltos president Denise May said Thursday morning.

Davis believes she can work towards developing her skillset with the proper training facility available. She’s not going to miss having to adjust to the fact that the equipment she trains on is a far cry from what awaits her and her fellow gymnasts when they go to competitions out of town.

She won’t miss the low ceilings in the beam area that’s for sure.

“When you go to a competition you go ‘how come this beam is so high’ because you’re used to training on a beam that’s lower,” she explained.

“We get to have higher ceilings, the full length of the floor and all that in our new place,” she added.

She also believes it will be a tad more organized with adequate space, which she feels will bode well for the youngsters who are involved in the Kindergym program.

“All the people in Kindergym ... I don’t think it’s much fun for them,” she said. “If they were in the bigger space at the Pepsi Studio then they would get to run around more and not get in everybody’s way so much.”

She views the move as a positive step for all gymnasts regardless of their skillset. She expects to be a better athlete at the end of the day because she has a fighting chance with the proper equipment in place.

“Because you have more space and you’re not all cluttered up in this little gym,” she said.

It’s a ray of excitement that’s being shared by the entire Davis clan. Rachel’s sister Lauren is a member of the Saltos gymnastics program, while brother Ian is a participant in the Saltos parkour program that was introduced a couple of seasons ago.

From a parent’s perspective, Rachel’s mom was pleased with the response from the City of Corner Brook and Western Sports and Entertainment in finding a way to address the ongoing concern of the gymnastics community that, only a short time ago, was expecting to have its own facility built on the existing property on Wellington Street.

Cindy Davis believes the new venue will allow her daughter to embrace an opportunity to train in a facility conducive to skill development, so she expects life will be much better for everybody involved.

“So, hopefully they’re going to be able to train at a higher level based on the space,” she said.

Of course, Saltos head coach Erin Brady may be the happiest camper of the bunch. Club president May was pleased to see her head coach excited about the future with a new facility after hearing the good news.

“She’s over the moon up there,” she said, noting everybody involved with the club is smiling over the development.

“She’s been making due and trying to modify everything she knows to fit the space,” she said of her dedicated coach. “The kids can’t even swing around without smacking their feet on the ceiling so she’s just so happy.”

May admits she’s OK with the reality a stand-alone facility for the club may not materialize, but she’ll have her finger on the pulse to ensure the athletes have a facility that will allow them to feel good about and help them with their development.

“Will there be a brand new building for us? Probably not. But, we’re hoping there will be a solution that will not only meet our needs, but other user groups in the city,” she said.

Organizations: Pepsi Studio, C. C. Loughlin School, Western Star.Saltos Gymnastics Club

Geographic location: CORNER BROOK, Wellington Street

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