Lily Witten with the Polarettes practices vaulting at the club’s gymnasium on Nov. 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Get ready to tumble: Whitehorse’s Polarettes to flip out at fundraiser

‘There’s a mandatory five-minute break at the end, just so people don’t fall over’

Amy Kenny | Special to the News

Think you can do more than 1,472 cartwheels or summersaults in 45 minutes? That was the record set last year during Flip for the Future — a first-time fundraiser for the Polarettes Gymnastics Club.

Megan Banks, competitive coach for the club, says the trial run was so successful in 2016, the club is holding the event again this year on Nov. 25.

On the day of the event, participants show up for a pre-assigned time slot in one of four categories — kids nine and under, youth 10 to 12, teens 13 to 18, and adult.

Each participant has 15 minutes to warm up, then 45 minutes to do as many cartwheels or summersaults as possible.

“There’s a mandatory five-minute break at the end, just so people don’t fall over,” says Banks.

She says the club holds a few different fundraisers each year, but this is the biggest one.

“I know from talking to people that they prefer to support Flip for the Future because kids actually have to work for their earnings rather than just going and selling chocolates,” she says. “And with this, all of the money goes toward the gym.”

Last year, Flip for the Future attracted 80 participants and raised $6,000. This year, the club is hoping to top that in order to help with renovations and upgrades to the gym.

“The floor hasn’t been replaced since the 90s,” says Banks of the Riverdale facility. As well, the club hopes the building is approved for an addition at the rear, which will house four more competition trampolines under a higher ceiling.

Plans also include extra bathrooms, offices, and birthday party rooms.

“We just want more space for the (almost 950) members coming through on a daily basis,” Banks says.

That membership includes gymnasts from 18 months of age, all the way up to adults. In addition to recreational and drop-in classes that see roughly 7,000 individual users each year, Banks says there are 40 competitive athletes who train at the gym anywhere from four hours a week for the pre-competitive kids, to 25 hours a week for the older kids working on twists, tucks and flips.

Some funds from Flip for the Future may also support the competitive team when it travels to Calgary in January for the Ed Vincent Invitational. Earlier this year, the Polarettes travelled to Kelowna for the Ogopogo Invitational and brought back 26 medals.

Participants can pre-register online at polarettes.org, or wait and register the day of the event at 16 Duke Road in Riverdale.

Contact the Yukon News at editor@yukon-news.com

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