Local duo hope to get gymnastics started up in Slave Lake

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

Two women with one goal; a goal of bringing a gymnastics club to slave lake.

Tasha Albert and Kimmy Eben Ebenau have teamed up to bring the sport of gymnastics to town.

Eben Ebenau says she grew up in a big city in Iowa, United States where she always had access to sports at her fingertips and when she moved to Slave Lake eight years ago she noticed that in a small community that wasn’t going to be quite the case.

She says that is why she wanted to team up with Albert on this project to bring another activity for children in the community.

Albert says she has always debated on bringing a gymnastic studio to town. She says she had always known it was something members of the community wanted to have around. She also adds her seven-year-old daughter is heavily involved in the sport and they travel to the club in High Prairie once a week to practice along with several other community members.

Albert states people also travel to Athabasca’s club for practice.

“We have a dream to be open by September of 2019,” says Albert.

Albert says the there are three main pillars of things they need to accomplish in order to get the club off the ground and running.

The first thing they need to do is start fundraising. Eben Ebenau says they had a meeting on November 2 where they discussed some fundraising ideas and options to try and pursue.

Albert explains that they have created a board which currently includes 10 people to help make the dream a reality.

Albert states they need to raise $75,000 in order to run the club and buy equipment, etc. She goes into detail saying they based their cost on several gymnastic clubs including the Alberta Gymnastics Association and a gymnastics coach who came to town several years ago and quoted how much it would roughly cost to create a club.

Albert mentions years ago there was a club in town but it disintegrated. The second pillar Albert mentions is coach recruitment. She says they would to start off by hiring local coaches and provide level one and two training for people who would like to become coaches in the community.

Eben Ebenau says they will also venture elsewhere to find more experienced coaches if needed.

The third pillar is finding a location. Albert explains they would ideally like to find a spot where set-up and take-down is not required. That way they would be able to offer more classes and not have to schedule around other clubs or school activities.

Albert and Eben Ebenau say if anyone is interested in helping out or has fundraising ideas to email them at slavelakegymnastics@hotmail.com.

Tasha Albert’s seven-year-old daughter Brookelyn Albert, showing off her strength and gymnastic skills on the balance beam.

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