By Fred Wallace
Hi this is the Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
Summer is here, and among the first summer events will be a bittersweet function at Kelso Beach Park on Saturday afternoon.
After 40 years of operation, the Owen Sound Satellites Gymnastics Club announced that they will be concluding their programs once their Spring Session concludes on Saturday June 30th.
This Saturday, the Satellites are holding a " Farewell Celebration " at Kelso Beach beginning at 1:30 pm with an open invitation to any and all who have been connected to the club in any way, shape or form over the past 4 decades.
A lot of heart & soul goes into a club like the Satellites, and thus you can imagine the decision to cease operations was extremely difficult, especially with their lengthy history of providing both a recreational and competitive outlet for youngsters to participate in. There's a lot to be proud of over that time period.
From the outside, you might think there's a service issue with the Satellites that contributed to their declining numbers.
I doubt that.
The two biggest factors that I see are, 1) a highly competitive market with 3 gyms offering multiple options for gymnasts, dancers & athletes within the city limits, plus 2) the ongoing decline in numbers of youngsters participating in sports programs.
I see it in Minor Hockey. I hear about it in Lacrosse. Even Minor Soccer, once bursting at the seams, needed a kid-call to fill out a couple of divisions this Spring.
Programs for youth in Owen Sound are terrific in my view. Lots of choice. Lots of good supervision.
But as the departure of the Owen Sound Satellites Gymnastics Club illustrates, there might not be enough youngsters to fill all the programs available.
I'm Fred Wallace