It’s not time to flip out yet — or is it?

Cory Hurley - A Game of Inches
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I am as happy as heck for the gymnasts in the city to be out of that decrepit old building on Wellington Street.

Despite its successes as a club, the cramped quarters has always limited its ability to offer a true gymnastics program. The ceiling is too low and the rooms are too small, so all the credit to be able to develop athletes who have gain on to excel in the sport throughout Atlantic Canada.

How can you convince parents to hand over their children for training in a facility that is leaking and unhealthy? Somehow, the organizers and coaches have been able to do it. Maybe they can sell ice to an Eskimo.

The new gigs at the Pepsi Centre annex is completely ideal. It is high and large, all the room in the world to expand the program for whatever elements of the sport they’d like. Awesome fit.

There is one problem. This is not what the annex was intended to be. It comes at a significant cost to anybody else who were using the facility or had their sights set on it. With gymnastics equipment taking up a large portion of the multi-purpose gym, it limits the space left for indoor soccer and volleyball – the current user groups.

The week after the announcement, it became clear that hosting a 30-team under-16 volleyball tournament was now going to be a problem. I hope everybody is indeed working as hard to resolve the issue as we have been led to believe.

So, the overwhelming thought throughout the basketball community, is that the sport must be grown outside the school system. The annex is the ideal place to begin recreational leagues and skill development for youth. Does this move by Saltos prohibit any progression of this becoming a reality? All appearances are it would. However, it’s going to take a community effort to get the ball rolling on that initiative first, before a complaint can even be considered.

If hope is the word of the day, I would also hope this is indeed a short-term fix. I am not sure how short-term it can be. Nobody is going to snap their fingers and a pile of money falls into the lap of the gymnastics club. The purse strings of the city are not going to magically open. The cost of the required facility is only going to continue to rise.

I fear the Pepsi Centre annex may become the permanent home of the gymnastics club. They certainly have to have one, and nobody can blame that group for bettering themselves. The agreement is until September. No miracle resolve will happen then.

This is a great story of cooperation and assistance, but it comes at a cost. Again with the hope, I hope the cost is not too much in the end.

Organizations: Pepsi Centre

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada.How

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Recent comments

  • Sport First
    January 30, 2014 - 07:29

    I think all these sports in the annex is a good thing and everyone will figure out a way to work together!! Sportsmanship, right? Remember, this facility was barely being used at all until last year and now everyone wants in. The level of activity in the space is very impressive.

    • you dont know
      January 30, 2014 - 10:04

      yes it is nice to see this space used...its about time really. but it is used properly?? I really dont think so. Why did the city spend thousands and thousands on all new basketball equipment that hasnt ever been used, and now with Saltos there, it cant be used! What did Saltos or the City expect to get for 900k! Seriously that money would barely cover the demolition and site work costs. Anyone involved in construction would know that 900k is peanuts. and Saltos and the City expected a new building for this? The city needs to invest into the YMCA. Community programs, recreation facilities that EVERYONE can use. Not just specific groups!!!

    • Sport First
      January 31, 2014 - 19:46

      You don't know, I'm not sure I get your point. I don't think there is even a basketball league in the City? I may be wrong. So the Annex should hold space back from active groups just in case a basketball league gets on the go and needs space? Did these groups ask for space before now?

  • Soccer Player
    January 29, 2014 - 07:52

    Like Cory said, I am happy as heck for the gymnasts. But at the expensive of the other user groups (Baseball, volleyball, basketball and soccer) does not sit well with me. The Recplex closed, but the Curling Club worked through it and found a new, better home with new ice. Surely, if they can do it with their numbers, the Saltos should be able to find/build a space somewhere as well. Just my two cents, but the head of Saltos must have some connections here in the city to pull this off...

    • Saddened
      January 29, 2014 - 18:50

      Happy for the gymnasts BUT............... great community!! Corner Brookers can never be happy for another group – just want to tear them down the minute someone gets a better situation. Wow, I’d hate to see if you were unhappy with a group!! And nice low blow at the end!! At least sign your name when you are handing out low blows!! So, what exactly would you recommend for this group? Fold? Stay in a stinky building full of mold and leaks so soccer can have ALL the space in the City? Is it not good enough that soccer has multiple soccer pitches as well as a NEW MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR FACILITY on Wellington Street?? Don’t forget people, soccer has some of the best facilities of all the sports!! Did you see any gymnasts in the paper or on twitter complaining when Soccer got a brand new world class pitch while our kids were in a moldy, stinky, decrepit building?? No!! So Gymnastics has to stay out of the annex so soccer can have it for the off season??? Really?? Now soccer is kicking up a stink because a club that needed a bit of space got some? So, do you expect this Club to build their own facility????? How do you think the Curlers got a new home?? The City built it! And please everyone, give up on the curlers! They’ve been bashed and bashed by this community for getting a facility. We got a new curling club people, deal with it!! So, did soccer build the multi-million dollar facility on Wellington Street? I’m pretty sure not!! I can’t imagine that your group has much to complain about – there’s lots of groups in this City getting a pittance next to your group!

  • softballer
    January 28, 2014 - 10:03

    Can someone from the City please tell everyone what is going to happen to "B" diamond this supper? You kicked the women's league off this last summer to build a new building for the grass is nice and long, and nothing ever happened to Saltos! You spent money on netting all around A diamond, which we see now was a waste of money. Cory - get some answers on the women's fastpitch league. The city should be forced to get this field back to normal! They completed wasted all last summer!

  • gymnist
    January 28, 2014 - 10:01

    Do you ever interview anyone involved with either party for your articles or just write whatever is on your mind? Do you get paid by the Western Star?

    • softballer
      January 28, 2014 - 12:59

      you clearly do not understand the concept of "opinion column"

  • Ball Player
    January 28, 2014 - 09:54

    Everyone seems to forget one user group, the CORNER BROOK BASEBALL ASSOCIATION. Who, for the past 12 years, have been the only group to use this space! Before there were any renovations, before there was any turf, before all that ceiling stuff was removed, the CBBA was using this space for winter and spring programs. I have seen multiple references to consultations with "all user groups - soccer and volleyball". Well you forgot the CBBA, and now there are no gym times for the ball players. Thanks Guys!! You're welcome for using this space for the past 12 years when no one else would.