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Gymnasts face Bruins in athletic showdown

Members of the Estevan Gymnastics Club invited the SJHL champion Estevan Bruins to the club’s facility on Thursday night to see how the hockey players would fare in a different sport. 
Gymnastics vs Bruins 2022
Members of the Estevan Gymnastics Club and Estevan Bruins gather for a group photo following the Grips Versus Sticks showdown.

ESTEVAN - Members of the Estevan Gymnastics Club invited the SJHL champion Estevan Bruins to the club’s facility on Thursday night to see how the hockey players would fare in a different sport. 

And not only did the event, knowns as Grips Versus Sticks, provide a lot of entertainment, but it was a valuable fundraiser for the club. 

Tateum McPherson with the gymnastics club was pleased to see the attendance and the support from the Bruins. The event raised nearly $20,000, which exceeded their goal of $15,000. 

“We were just super blessed to have that much support from the community,” said McPherson.  

Funds were generated through a comedy night on May 7 at the Beefeater Plaza featuring comedian Brittany Lyseng. That night also had silent and live auction items donated by people from the community. A Calcutta allowed people to bid on an athlete of their choice. 

Some of the gymnastics club members were in two disciplines, but most were in just one. The Calcutta alone fetched more than $3,000. 

“The day of the fundraiser on May 7, we still had silent auction items coming in from businesses in Estevan,” said McPherson. “It was really good to see.”  

Some of the gymnasts who are in the competitive stream of the club came out to show their support.  

Twenty-one gymnasts, ranging in age from seven to 13 years of age, and 26 Bruins from ages 17-21, were part of the fun competition.  

The highest box jump drew the most interest, because people wanted to see who could jump the highest based on a percentage of their height.  

Bruin forward Cody Davis of Alameda jumped 80.8 per cent of his body height. Lyla Hale was the winner for the gymnastics club at 80 per cent. 

In the longest chin-up hold using a reverse grip, Carsyn McDonald held for two minutes and nine seconds, which McPherson described as “incredible”. The top Bruin was Zach Burfoot at one minute and 28 seconds. 

Jackson Miller won the longest consecutive frog jump for the Bruins. Gymnast Brynley Rosengren was the top gymnast in that discipline. 

The longest elevated straddle or pike hold saw seven-year-old Bria Stepp hold it for three minutes and two seconds, which McPherson believes is a club record. Cam Hrdlicka was the top Bruin at 40 seconds. 

Since the teams were tied after four events, there was a tie-breaker push-up contest. Lila Hale with the gymnastics club finished with 50, while Alex Von Sprecken, who hails from Estevan, had 55.  

“For next year, the girls are excited and they’re going to come back and get the ‘w’,” said McPherson. 

When the showdown was offered for the first time in October 2020, the gymnasts won six of seven competitions. McPherson believes the Bruins were better prepared this year, and the categories were ones that the players would have a chance at, such as leg strength.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the programming and purchase equipment for the gymnastics facility.   

“It’s a really good fundraiser for us, and it’s cool for them to come in and support us. Lots of our girls watch the Bruins’ games and are Bruins’ fans. We support them and we’re glad they can come and do the same for us.” 

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