Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships coming to Amherstburg


Provincial gymnastics championships coming to Amherstburg


By Jolene Perron
Crowds of hardworking gymnasts will be taking over Amherstburg’s Libro Credit Union Centre next April.

“It is a very large undertaking to host this competition,” explained Rose City Gymnastics general manager Thomas Deslippe. “It lasts four days but takes several months to plan and prepare for. We require many volunteers and donations. Because we have hosted before, we have learned a lot on what needs to be done to be successful. It takes between six and eight hours to unload and set up the equipment and the centre to be prepared to welcome the athletes, judges, coaches and spectators. It takes another four to six hours to take down and load the equipment. The equipment is rented and comes on three transport trucks.”

In all, 1,200 participants are expected to compete.

Deslippe said they will be using both the soccer field and the first ice rink for the competition and they plan to be the only ones in the arena during that weekend. They contacted the town of Amherstburg at the beginning of June to express their desire to submit a bid to Gymnastics Ontario for the event. They were approved in July.

“This is a milestone for the town in that this is the first provincial championship hosted at the Libro Credit Union Centre and is the single biggest sporting event in terms of athletes and spectators that I have seen in six years that I have been with the town,” said Rick Daly, manager of recreation services for the town of Amherstburg.

Daly said Rose City is the host organization and is responsible for the overall budget of the event. He explained with their history of hosting events like this one, they will be able to identify the cost of running the event. Amherstburg, as the host venue, will charge their rental fees to the club, which is included in their budget.

“Any event that brings in high level competition and visitors to the Town and the Libro Centre is a win for Amherstburg,” said Daly. “That’s 5,000 potential consumers in our shops and restaurants. It is a chance for the business community to support the event through sponsorship and volunteer opportunities and to see a return on their investment in the event with foot traffic through their front doors.  It is also a chance to pad our event-hosting resume for future hosting opportunities. Anytime that we can showcase our outstanding facility, staff and volunteers by supporting high level sporting events such as this championship will help pave the way for hosting more and more events.”

Deslippe explained the provincial championships are held just once every year for athletes that qualify by meeting the standards through attending a specified number of qualifying competitions. The levels range from beginners to advanced, which is determined by either Gymnastics Ontario or Gymnastics Canada and is based on age and skill. Deslippe explained these athletes will train from 16 to 25 plus hours per week. Some levels will be able to attempt to place in the top of their respective category and qualify to represent Ontario as part of Team Ontario at the Eastern Canadian Championships in the beginning of May or the Canadian National Championships in the end of May. Some of these athletes that are attending the Ontario Championships will one day be part of Team Canada and attend World Championships, or the Olympic Games.

There will be an admission fee for anyone wishing to come and watch the various events, which will be set by Rose City.

“I strongly urge the residents and local businesses to get involved in the event,” said Daly. “Who knows, maybe the next Canadian gymnast to win gold at the Olympics may have competed in Amherstburg.”



Special to the RTT

The best young gymnasts in Ontario will converge on Amherstburg’s Libro Credit Union Centre to compete in the Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships next April.

This sporting event is both a Championship and a qualifier for high level events such as the Eastern Canadian Championships and the National Canadian Championships.

The championships, which start April 5, 2018, run over four days and will see

athletes ranging in ages from 8 to 18+ competing in events as seen in the Olympics. The levels will range from provincial to national and high performance (Olympic) levels.

Libro Centre

“This will be Rose City Gymnastics’ fifth time hosting the event. To put this on, it requires many volunteers, donations and community involvement. We are very excited to once again be hosting and especially to be hosting in the Town of Amherstburg,” states Tom Deslippe, general manager of Rose City Gymnastics. “Amherstburg continues to demonstrate that we are a tourism destination, whether it be cultural or sport”, notes Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “We have an outstanding volunteer base and the administrative expertise to host any event and work to enhance the town’s strategic vision. Collectively, we will be ready to support this event, proving once again that Amherstburg is the place to be.”

The event will draw over 1,200 athletes competing for gold in the various men’s and

women’s events. The championship is expected to also draw over 5,000 spectators to the town for the four-day event.

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