© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
Members of the female competitive artistic gymnastics group of the Prince Albert Aerial Gymnastics Club, along with their coaches, stand beside a set of uneven bars and matting that was purchased with the support of the 1989 Jeux Canada Games Foundation Inc.
The Prince Albert Aerials Gymnastics Club is the proud beneficiaries of an event held in Saskatchewan almost a quarter-century ago. The Jeux Canada Summer Games were held in Saskatoon in 1989 and as a legacy to that event a foundation was established to distribute funds to local sports groups who apply for a grant to improve or replace existing equipment or facilities. Mike Amouri, the program director for the Aerials, established an eight-year plan in 2011 with the goal being to have local gymnasts compete at the 2019 Canada Games. To achieve that goal, Amouri applied for a grant to purchase a new set of uneven bars and mats and with the support of the 1989 Jeux Canada Games Foundation Inc. that equipment was recently installed at the High Noon Optimist Centre. The club received $5,000 from the foundation and for several weeks now the competitive artistic gymnastics program has benefitted from the new equipment. When Amouri’s plan reaches the half-way point in 2015 he intends to apply again as he hopes to continue on the path of having a female gymnast, or more than one if possible, compete at the Canada Games for the first time ever. Prince Albert, which once had a strong male competitive gymnastics program, is also quickly gaining attention in provincial circles as Amouri says that more males are joining the club and quickly getting to a high level of excellence.