Anna Gishler practices vaulting at the Polarettes Gymnastics Club on Nov. 9, 2017. The club will soon have a lot of new equipment thanks to funding from the Yukon goverment’s community development fund. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Polarettes set to debut new equipment at Midnight Sun Invitational

‘We’ve really never had an opportunity to compete on home soil before with other clubs’

The Polarettes Gymnastics Club is gearing up to host the first-ever Midnight Sun Gymnastics Invitational from June 21 to 24, and thanks to funding from the Yukon government and Lotteries Yukon, the club will also be breaking in some new equipment.

The territorial government announced in a press release on June 6 that the club will receive more than $82,000 through the community development fund to replace and upgrade old, worn-out equipment.

Kimberly Jones, head coach for the Polarettes, said a lot of the equipment covered by the grants is at or near the end of its lifespan.

“We’re replacing everything in the gym that has been in the gym for more than 15 years,” said Jones. “The whole layout of the gym is actually going to change.”

Among the upgrades are a new floor exercise area, new beams, new bars, a new vault system, new recreational equipment and fixes for the foam pit.

Best of all for the club, the new equipment shipped on June 7 and will be here in time for the invitational.

“It’s going to get setup at the Whitehorse Curling Club where our event is now being hosted and then it is going to get transferred over to the Polarettes facility,” said Jones.

That swap is expected to happen on June 24, and the club will be closed for a week as the facility is reorganized.

While the Polarettes have hosted major events in the past in conjunction with Sport Yukon, like Western Canadian Championships and Canada Games, the Midnight Sun Gymnastics Invitational is the first time the club has taken on an invitational.

“The idea actually was a long-time idea from the old head coach, Cat O’Donovan, and it just kind of never came about,” said Jones, explaining that timing was always difficult to work out.

“This year we prioritized it and decided this was the year we were really going to put ourselves out there and try to host an event like this.”

There certainly seems to be a market for it. In the two years since Jones has been with the Polarettes, she said the competitive program has expanded from 17 athletes to a current total of 46.

“We’re growing at a rapid pace,” said Jones. “We’re got a lot of kids that are really interested in becoming involved with the program.”

This year, 10 teams and approximately 130 athletes will travel to Whitehorse for the meet. Joining the Yukoners will be teams from Alaska, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

“We’ve really never had an opportunity to compete on home soil before with other clubs, so this will be a really nice opportunity for the kids.”

Also making the trip are two-time Olympians Brittany Rogers and Kate Richardson, and Canadian national team gymnast Kevin Lytwyn, who will be leading clinics and camp sessions for local gymnasts.

Although the event is still weeks away, Jones said talk has already started about holding another invitational in the future.

“We’re talking about doing that again because this year seems to be a pretty big success already,” said Jones. “So we’re talking about that for the future.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

gymnastics

Just Posted

Northwestel says it is investigating into the cause of the total communications blackout throughout the territory after a power failure in Whitehorse on Wednesday night.
Internet outage prompts criticism on Dempster fibre project delays

The Liberals responded that they have proceeded cautiously to avoid high costs.

A motorcycle with driver pulled over on the right side of the North Klondike Highway whose speed was locked in at 171 kilometres per hour. (Courtesy/Yukon RCMP)
Patrols of Yukon highways find poorly-secured loads, intoxicated drivers

The ongoing patrols which police call ‘Operation Cooridor’ is mainly focused on commercial vehicles.

Awaken Festival organizers Meredith Pritchard, Colin Wolf, Martin Nishikawa inside the Old Firehall in Whitehorse on May 11. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Performing arts fest plans to awaken artistic talent in Whitehorse and the rural North

‘A value of ours is to make theatre as accessible as possible.’

April Mikkelsen tosses a disc during a ladies only disc golf tournament at Solstice DiscGolfPark on May 8. John Tonin/Yukon News
Yukon sees its first-ever women’s disc golf tournament

The Professional Disc Golf Assocation had a global women’s event last weekend. In the Yukon, a women’s only tournament was held for the first time ever.

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

More than 25,000 people have received the firsdt dose of the vaccine, according to the Yukon government. (Black Press file)
Yukon has now vaccinated 76 per cent of eligible adults

The territory has surpassed its goal of 75 per cent as a first step toward ‘herd immunity’

A prescribed burn is seen from the lookout at Range Road and Whistle Bend Way in Whitehorse May 12. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Editorial: Are you ready for a forest fire?

Citizens for a Firesmart Whitehorse have listed some steps for Yukoners to boost safety and awareness

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Most Read