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STUDENT REPORTER: Bluewater Gymnastics Club has bounced back strongly

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Editor’s note: St. Anne Catholic School teacher Jeff Cardy challenged his Grade 7-8 students to write a newspaper story. This is the first in a series of their reports.

Ava King
Special to The Journal

Gymnasts at the Bluewater Gymnastics Club are starting to recover from the recent loss of coaches.

The club took a tumble following accusations and a court trial involving former head coach Dave Brubaker. With only a few competitive coaches remaining, gymnasts have had a hard time maintaining their level of training.

But the girls are now getting back on track, and in March posted podium finishes and won medals at the 2019 Gymnix Classic in Montreal, Quebec.

Sue Valade is one of the main competitive coaches at Bluewater and her qualifications are extensive. She was a judge of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics for about 12 years and Men’s Artistic Gymnastics for more than eight years, and she owned her own club in Chatham-Kent for five years.

Over the past year, Bluewater has overcome numerous obstacles and has distinguished itself from other gyms through means of social media and marketing. The club recognizes that the allegations regarding former Olympic coach Brubaker have had an effect on its image in the community, and hopes to remedy that.

Bluewater has initiated open houses, new recreational classes and special event activities. Members have also designed their own gym suits, matching scrunchies, grip bags, and clothing apparel, which are open to the public for purchase.

Positive changes are on the horizon, with Bluewater’s younger gymnasts recently competing in a qualifier for provincials. Addison Dawson, Mckenna Lyon, Tyleigh Winger, and Avery Caleffi all did extremely well. Overall, Addison placed 3rd, Mckenna placed 9th, Tyleigh placed 1st, and Avery placed 2nd.

Many other club gymnasts also competed and did a great job.

Bluewater Gymnastics and its members have a bright and promising future ahead, and look forward to seeing what successes unfold with continued community support.

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