News

Gymnastics Canada Welcomes New Board Members

Ottawa, ON (November 6, 2020) – Gymnastics Canada (GymCan) is pleased to announce its new Board of Directors following the Annual General Meeting held in September (as follows):


Gymnastics Canada Welcomes New Board Members

(*Denotes newly elected)

We would like to thank retiring board members William Thompson, Jack Payne, and Twyla Ryan for their long-standing service to the sport and to their commitment to the leadership of the national organization. There remains one vacant position that can be filled by appointment at the discretion of the Board.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Gymnastics Canada membership, and the GymCan Board, for the honour of being elected and then selected as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors,” said Thomson who has 40 years of experience in the sport of gymnastics and is currently a member of the FIG Technical Committee for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics.

“On behalf of myself, and the entire Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the gymnastics community for the trust you have placed in us to help guide the sport of gymnastics through this difficult time. We are all excited to work with the staff at GymCan and our provincial and territorial leaders towards furthering our mandate of providing healthy and safe gymnastics experiences for all of our participants.”

NEW BOARD MEMBER BIOS
JEFF THOMSON

Jeff has a long history in the sport of gymnastics as a coach, a judge, an educator, and administrator. He has had a seat on the FIG Men’s Technical Committee since 2017, is currently a member of the Executive of the Commonwealth Gymnastics Confederation, and has judged at over 75 international competitions in 25 countries including 16 World Championships, 5 Commonwealth Games, 4 Pan American Games, 2 FISU Games, and the 1996, 2000, and 2008 Olympic Games.

He is a NCCP Level 3 Certified coach and was an active coach at 30 Canadian Championships between 1980 and 2002 and was the personal coach of several athletes named to the age group, junior, or senior Canadian National Teams. From 2005 to 2013, he was the Program Director for men’s artistic gymnastics at Gymnastics Canada.

Jeff is a Life Member of both Gymnastics Canada and Gymnastics BC, and in 2013 was recognized for his outstanding life-time service to men’s artistic gymnastics by being presented with the Eugene Oryszczyn Award by Gymnastics Canada.

“This year marks my 40th year of involvement with GymCan at the National level. I can’t even begin to express how much I appreciate what the sport of gymnastics, and Gymnastics Canada, have provided to me. I accepted the nomination to the Board and the position of Chair, because I believe that I can use my 40 years of experience to help this community move forward through one of the most difficult periods in its history. The COVID pandemic has created incredible challenges, especially on the financial side, and it will take hard work and creative thinking to help us manage this and come through together.”

BONNIE DE GROOT

Bonnie brings many years of experience as an event organizer and team manager to the GymCan Board. She has been the Meet Director for the UCIC men’s artistic gymnastics competition in Calgary since 2018 and was the Floor Manager for the 2020 Elite Canada in women’s artistic gymnastics in Calgary. She was on the Board of Directors for the Alberta Gymnastics Federation, joining in June of 2019 where she was the Chair of the Safe Sport Committee and Safe Sport Task Force. Bonnie was also Vice Chair for the UNOCAL board of directors for 3 years.  

She has been a Team Manager for several Alberta and Calgary Gymnastics Centre teams over the years and has been a judge for men’s artistic gymnastics since 2017.

“I have been a part of this amazing sport for the past 10 years and have meet so many wonderful coaches, athletes, and judges. The sport has taught my daughter many life lessons that I know will serve her well in life. I have watched her grow as an athlete and a person - this sport has shaped my daughter into a beautiful, thoughtful, resilient, and focused young lady. I want to give back to the sport for all it has given my daughter and I felt the best way to help was to serve the membership and to help make the sport even better. It is my honour and pleasure to be part of this dynamic and forward thinking GymCan board, and I look forward to working with everyone for the next four years.”

BERNARD PETIOT

Bernard holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a Master's degree in Human Kinetics from Université Laval. He taught in the Université de Montréal’s Physical Education Department from 1980 to 1997. As one of the main organizers of the first international congress dealing with talent development in gymnastics (World Gymnastics Championships held in Montreal in 1985), he was invited to analyze various Olympic Games: Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, and London 2012.

As coach at the renowned Montreal Gymnix Club from 1980 to 1998, he contributed to the development of several top Canadian gymnasts, including Cathy Giancaspro (Seoul 1988), Mylène Fleury (Barcelona 1992), and Marilou Cousineau (five World Championships), as well as to the international level training of Julie Beaulieu (Sydney 2000), Émilie Fournier (Sydney 2000) and Amélie Plante (Athens 2004). He also coached the Canadian team at 13 World Championships and two Olympic Games.

Bernard has been with Cirque du Soleil for the past 20 years as Vice‐President, Casting and Performance. His areas of expertise include casting, artist training, performance medicine, coaching, and the development and design of performance and acrobatic equipment.

“It was with great enthusiasm that I accepted my appointment to the GymCan Board of Directors. I owe a lot to gymnastics in my personal and professional career. Getting involved on the board is an opportunity for me to return to the Canadian gymnastics community what it has given me. It is also an opportunity to put my professional experience to good use so that the Canadian federation can offer athletes the best possible environment in the pursuit of their dreams of reaching the top nationally and internationally.”

ABOUT GYMNASTICS CANADA

First established in 1969, Gymnastics Canada has been supporting the mastery of movement in Canada for five decades as the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in Canada. We work closely with the twelve provincial federations and 700 local clubs to provide a broad range of programs and services to meet the needs of all participants. From athlete development, to coach and judge education, Gymnastics Canada sets the operating standards and practices for the sport in Canada. Our mandate is to promote and provide positive and diverse gymnastics experiences through the delivery of quality and safe gymnastics programming. Visit www.gymcan.org for more information, or follow us @gymcan1. From here, we soar.

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For more information, please contact:

Julie Forget
Director, Communications & Marketing
Gymnastics Canada
jforget@gymcan.org