Barrie Kempettes Gymnastics Club History

The Barrie Kempettes Gymnastics Club was formally known as the Barrie Gymnastics Club. Dave Boyd started the Club in 1965 with a small group of girls at Steele Street Public School. Dr. John Scott formally organized the Club in 1967 and this is when it became affiliated with the Ontario Gymnastics Federation. The Club operated with a small group of 12 gymnasts and 1 coach.

In 1976, Barrie Gymnastics Club endeavored to restructure the club towards programs for recreational and competitive gymnastics. With the co-operation of Herb Goutier, the Club was able to offer a Saturday morning recreational program at Georgian College using previous members as coaches. This program ran with an average of 75 girls ages 5 to 15. The Club hired a full-time coach and approximately 10 part-time junior coaches as the Club continued to expand. A summer program was introduced using facilities at Central Collegiate and Eastview Secondary School. It was at this time that the Club started to enter meets in Toronto as well as host their own. The Barrie Gymnastics Club became incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1986.

In 1989/1990, under the guidance of President Robert Bunford, the Club began actively looking for an alternative location. In April 1990, we moved into our first permanent facility at 110 Anne St. South, with over 6,000 sq. feet of space. During 1993, the Club officially changed its name to 'Barrie Kempettes Gymnastics Club'. Once again, in 1993/1994 we found ourselves unable to meet the needs of the growing Barrie community. Our programs were full and we were unable to expand.

In October of 1993, Barrie Kempettes moved from Anne St. to 500 Welham Rd., a 10,000 sq. foot facility. With the help of Ministry grants, Barrie Kempettes has been fortunate enough to be able to purchase necessary equipment in order to develop our athletes to their full potential. The Club moved to our present facility at 145 Welham Rd. in February of 2001. This 14,000 sq. foot facility gave us the space we needed to meet the demand for quality gymnastics programs in Barrie.

In 2004, a Demo Team program was started where gymnasts perform and compete as a team. The year 2004 also marked the first Robert Bunford Memorial Invitational meet in honour of the Club 's most dedicated President.

In 2017, we took over the unit next to us adding an additional 2,800 sq. feet to our facility. This space was created to house our preschool programs for our younger athletes. The Barrie Kempettes Gymnastics Club now offers recreational programs in artistic gymnastics, tumbling and trampoline for boys and girls, as well as provincial and national competitive programs in artistic and tumbling.

We continue to be a non-profit organization run by a Board of Directors who consist of parent volunteers within our Club and community. Our Head Coach, Kim Poole, has been coaching for the Club since 1985 and is actively sitting as our Executive Director. Barrie Kempettes now employs a Head Coach, a Recreational Director and a Club Administrator. We have up to 25 part-time coaches in various roles in our competitive teams, recreational and preschool programs.

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