School gymnasts have a home, for now

POULSBO — The days of training in makeshift spaces may be at an end for the North Kitsap School District gymnastics programs.

The Kingston and North Kitsap high school teams will operate out of Breidablik Elementary starting in the winter season of the 2014-15 school year.

The move will also mean another major change for the program: The programs will have their own equipment.

It’s the “first time we’ll have gymnastic equipment” in a long time, said Patrick Olsen, the district’s athletic director.

Olsen said he was meeting with the gymnastics coaches to discuss equipment needs June 12.

The last time the district’s gymnastics program had its own space was in the early 1990s, Olsen said.

“It’s nice we found a place, at least for a few years,” he said.

It will be a change of pace for the two teams since last season. North Kitsap ended up practicing in the high school’s commons — Kingston was in a similar situation. The teams were required to move what equipment they had in and out of a storage space, before and after every practice. Moving equipment took a minimum of 30 minutes on each end, Olsen said.

Gymnastics coaches found themselves without a place to bring their teams in early November 2013. A week before the teams were scheduled to begin practicing, the coaches were told Zero Gravity Athletics was being evicted from its space. The teams relied on use of the space, in a building off Minder Road.

North Kitsap’s team was moved into the high school commons, sharing space with cheerleaders, after using the auxiliary gym and wrestling mats for the first few days of practice. The team used only mats for practice for those days.

Despite the hurdles the teams faced during the 2013-14 season, the North Kitsap Vikings were able to compete at state as a team; North Kitsap’s Chloe Seferos took sixth on beam  and North Kitsap coach Kris Goodfellow was selected as the 2A/3A gymnastics coach of the year.

“They overcame a lot of distractions,” Olsen said.

Though being at Breidablik doesn’t put the gymnastics programs in the spotlight, it does give the feel of a more permanent program. From a stability standpoint, Olsen said at least students know where they will be training. Along with having their own equipment, “there’s good foundation for growth,” Olsen said.

Olsen said Kingston’s gymnastics participation numbers were down; however, Goodfellow reported her numbers were just as high as usual last season, at least in the beginning of the season.


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