Coach Stacey Parsons with little gymnasts (front) Sahara Cashion, 4, Zoe Butler, 3, and Lara Christ, 4, who has just graduated from kindy gym.
Coach Stacey Parsons with little gymnasts (front) Sahara Cashion, 4, Zoe Butler, 3, and Lara Christ, 4, who has just graduated from kindy gym. VALERIE HORTON

New gym at Hervey Bay PCYC

IT WAS down to the wire yesterday at the Hervey Bay PCYC with volunteers working until four in the morning putting the final touches on the club’s newest building addition to host its Gymnastics Club.

All the hard work of the past seven months paid off when a group of three to six-year-olds excitedly converged on the club’s mats, bars and ropes during the very first class in the new gymnasium.

As the weeks draw on, close to 400 gymnasts will each get their turn in the new building, attached to the side of the current O’Rourke Street, Pialba, centre.

Sergeant Patrick Fleming said the extension was much-needed and has allowed 100 people on the gymnastics waiting list to start taking classes.

It has also allowed for sessions to be expanded to run five afternoons and Saturday mornings, while the morning kids’ gym play program will be on four days to start with.

Sgt Fleming said relocating the gymnasium had freed up space for boxing and judo on the top floor of the main building and would allow for the extension of the weights room.

The gymnasium “just about cleaned out” the PCYC’s savings with the club contributing $90,000 to it and the State Government awarding $124,000.

It is the third extension in the club’s 10 years and includes an in-ground foam pit to give young gymnasts more confidence.

“It was a mad rush to get it all finished,” said Sgt Fleming, who praised volunteers and staff who worked around the clock in the lead-up.

“The council has been really supportive. There are such wonderful people involved; they come and help you with everything.”

Despite the success, Sgt Fleming has a few minor fears: “I dread it won’t be enough and we’ll have to extend again.”

But he admits he is proud of how far the club has come in his 10 years as branch manager.

“My goal has always been one club, one membership. We capture a lot of kids that wouldn’t otherwise join sport.”

There are nearly 2800 PCYC members, growing from just 366 in the first year.

The club is at its peak, one of the main reasons for a planned fourth extension.

That will be the addition of a third indoor ball sports court attached to the current two and expected to cost $1.2 million. The funding is already in the coffers thanks to the former Hervey Bay City Council and another State Government grant.

With the growth of Hervey Bay’s population, more volunteers are needed to help the club keep up with the demand for space and classes.

More fundraisers are also always welcome. It costs about $600,000 every year to run the centre which is not government-funded. Each year the club falls short of between $150,000 to $180,000 and has to make up for that through fundraising.



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