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LVX - Jungle Gym settles in after a season of change
2023-07-26

Given that the landscape of youth gymnastics is ever changing, it's likely only fair that gymnastics clubs be allowed to change as well.

After spending many years at their location on Armstrong Street, Jungle Gym Gymnastics have made the move over to Kelly Lake Road (1350 - across from entrance to Verdicchio/NHA/etc..), rebranding as LVX - Home to Jungle Gym Gymnastics.

Where it was easy enough to follow what amounted to a "provincial stream" and an "interclub stream" at one point in time, those who are competing now break down into essentially three groupings: 1) provincials with optionals - Levels 6 - 10; 2) provincials without optionals - Levels 3 - 5; 3) Xcel program.

"The Xcel gymnasts do just as many competitions as everyone else - they're just not scored like the other divisions are," explained Julie Bertrim, general manager of LVX and a former Jungle Gym athlete.

Bertrim also tackles the coaching duties at the higher levels along with club owner Zak Sivret, with Renée Blais, Jacey-Lynn Batchilder and Ali Somerset handling the Excel newcomers.

As they make their way back out of the challenges of Covid, Jungle Gym would send a total of ten gymnasts to provincials this year, with half of that crew cracking into the top ten in their respective brackets.

Solene Delparte (Level 3 - Age 12) slid into tenth place overall, highlighted by a silver medal performance in her floor routine.

Kiana Lampinen (Level 6 - Age 15+ - overall) and Lea Berardi (Level 6 - Age 15+ - bars) came through with 7th place ribbons, while Avery Hofford (Level 6 - Age 15+ - bars) and Caileigh Ryan (Level 6 - Age 15+ - floor) were just one spot back.

Rounding out the list of those who qualified for the all-Ontario meet were Tierra-Lee Castonguay, Nora Pollesel, Camille Landry, Lauren Stoddart and Ella O'Shaughnessy.

The bigger news out of the new facility, however, lies in the wide spectrum of physical activity offerings now available, with classes ranging from weight training to yoga and pretty much everything in between.

"Because Pat (Boileau) and I, and even Zak to some degree, have a lot of clinical experience working with the rehab sector, we try and offer more movement based solutions to training," noted Laurentian University Kinesiology graduate Joaquim de Tibiero, who made the move from his home in London to Sudbury once his studies were done.

"We are welcoming people from all levels: beginners to intermediate to people that are competing in sports. Our long-term plan is to have more with younger sports teams - and I'm excited for that."

With a more specialized focus on the weight training aspect, Boileau, a Canadian Olympic-style weighlifting champion in 2022 wants to ensure that clients understand there is a starting point to any endeavour of physical activity.

"We've added more classes to the gym schedule - like a strength 101 class, just to help people who want to work their way into training on a more full-time basis," he said. "Everyone tends to look at this facility as Jungle Gym - but we want to get the LVX name out there."

"Everything is incorporated under LVX," added Bertrim. "The goal is to have a whole facility be a place where everyone can come and workout at the same time, a place where the entire family has a place to be."

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