In 1975, George McLeod, a physical education teacher hired to teach at Neelin High School, was asked by the Brandon School Division to start a gym club at Neelin. This gym club was to be open to grade 4-12 students from any Brandon School. The Division agreed to bring any gymnastics equipment available in the Division to be stored and used at Neelin. It was hoped that there would be at least 35 students; however, 275 students showed up. Mr. McLeod picked 35 students and the Brandon Gym Club was started. These students put together a demonstration team and visited various Brandon school to promote the sport.
In 1979, Brandon hosted the Canada Winter Games. Spieth Anderson, a gymnastics equipment manufacturer, provided a complete set of equipment for the Games. Volunteers from the Brandon Gym Club, led by George McLeod and Henta Barron, were responsible for the Gymnastics Event held at the Brandon University. Following the Games, Spieth Anderson and the Canada Winter Games Committee offered to donate a full set of equipment to the Brandon Gym Club if the Club would open a gymnastics facility outside of Neelin. A suitable facility was found on 18th Street on the North Hill and the Eagles Gymnastic Club was born. It became incorporated on April 14, 1980 as a non-profit organization under the name of The Brandon Gymnastic Centre Inc. The Centre remained in this building for next two years.
Later, in 1982, The Brandon Gymnastic Centre moved to Park Avenue and 25th. Over the next few years, the club began fundraising for a permanent building built specifically for gymnastics. Many volunteers, coaches and Board members helped with this process. The gymnastics club moved into the current facility (without the addition) in 1986.
In 1993 Barb Heaps and Lorie Henderson started coaching at Brandon Eagles Gymnastics part-time, while still traveling back and forth between Brandon and Winnipeg. Both Barb and Lorie became full-time coaches in 1994. At this time, Brandon Eagles had approximately 35 female and male competitive gymnasts in the Provincial and Regional programs. Since then Brandon Eagles has grown to being a national ranked gymnastics facility. Currently in program, Brandon Eagles has approximately 4 national, 10 provincial, 25 pre-provincial, and 20 female and male regional gymnasts.
The current Brandon Eagles Gymnastics Club underwent its expansion in 2005 to allowing for additional training space.
Brandon Eagles Gymnastics Centre is a non-profit organization that is operated by a volunteer elected board. Our coaching and office staff has a history of being composed of past and present gymnasts from within the Brandon Eagles program. We are very proud of this.
- Marilee Simpson – Program Director
- Alex Empey- Competitive Team Lead
- Katrina Kaluzniak – Office Administrator
- Paola Barahona
- Amanda Chambers
- Juliana Crocker
- Rhett Cruickshanks
- Alex Empey
- Shae Gross
- Barb Janzen
- Cassidy Jones
- Mackenzie Phillips
- Em Scott
- Quinn Skrupa – assistant
- Dr. Joe Stouffer
- Shea Taylor
- Cheyne Zegers – assistant