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Love of gymnastics keeps former resident going

Friday, October 2, 2009

A former Brazil resident has expanded her love of coaching gymnastics into one of the most prominent teaching studios in Manitoba, Canada.

Peggy Glassco, a 1983 graduate of Brazil High School, has become one of the most prolific gymnastic instructors in her home of Winnipeg, Manitoba, as she owns and operates "Gymkyds Gymnastics," the largest such establishment of its kind in Manitoba. She is the daughter of John and Arlene Tribble, Brazil.

While Glassco says she has had a lifelong love affair with gymnastics, she never actively participated in the sport competitively. The main focus of her competitive juices growing up were put into marching band, where she played alto saxophone for four years, including playing with Brazil's 1981 state championship winning squad. Glassco called the husband and wife band-leading duo of Bob and Ruth Ann Medworth two of the biggest influences in her life.

"(The Medworth's) really helped produce a great work ethic in me," Glassco said. "They really encouraged me to work outside the box."

Bob Medworth, who is still conducting band at Northview alongside his wife, had nothing but fond memories of the former Peggy Tribble, and wasn't surprised she was able to find such success.

"Peggy was a great kid," Medworth said. "She was always hard working and (Ruth and I) have always been amazed with what she's been able to do."

Glassco moved to Manitoba after high school. Her mother was originally from the area, and the family frequently visited the Province when she was growing up.

Wanting to find a college a good distance from home, she enrolled at the University of Manitoba, where she graduated in 1988. During her college years, she spent three years as a cheerleader for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.

Glassco landed her first coaching gig in 1992, when she and her two children, son Jeremy and daughter Jackie, moved to the small town of Flin Flon, Manitoba. She has spent the bulk of her coaching career working with amateur athletes, generally no older than the age of 13.

Much like she was never competitive in gymnastics herself, Glassco says she doesn't generally train kids for competition, but rather works them, so they are able to firmly develop their skills.

"I don't really train competitive gymnastics," she said. "I really just love teaching kids and I try to develop a love for the sport (in them)."

Through the years, Glassco has expanded her repertoire, becoming one of the most respected instructors in her region. She has spent years traveling throughout the province, promoting Artistic Gymnastics, while also conducting several workshops in which she and several of her peers exchange ideas and methods. Glassco said she is very fond of the workshop environment.

"I love going out and either learning from other coaches, or having them learn from me," she said. "It's a really great way for all of us to improve what we do."

For all her contributions in the field of Artistic Gymnastics, Glassco was honored as a finalist in the Grassroots Category for the Vince Leah Memorial Award, an annual award given for coaches and their contributions in "sport, leadership, personal development and coaching effectiveness."

Glassco was also nominated for the award in 2000 and 2008, but 2009 marked her first year as a finalist. Though she ultimately didn't receive the award, Glassco was still grateful for the nomination, saying, "it was quite an honor."

All the recognition isn't without merit. Since she opened Gymkyds Gymnastics, the 6,000-square foot establishment in 2001, she has seen it expand into the largest organization of its kind in the Manitoba Gymnastics Association, with more than 1,300 members. She has also made the business a bit of a family affair as Jeremy and Jackie, now 21 and 20 respectively, work for her.

While she has accomplished a great deal, Glassco is still looking to expand. She's already opened a second, considerably smaller shop in Gimli, a rural Canadian community. She is also in the midst of developing a monthly newsletter she intends to distribute to coaches in the area. She says she's "very close" to getting it distributed.

Regardless of how far she ends up expanding her business, Glassco, who consistently plugs nearly 12-hour days, says at Gymkyds, says her main objective is to reach young kids and help them develop a lifelong love for the sport, all while taking great pleasure when the youngsters accomplish goals they set for themselves.

"I love to see (the kids') faces when they accomplish something," she said. "In this job, you have to enjoy the little things and when they accomplish a goal they were working on, I get a real kick out of it."

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Congratulations Peggy, you have a lot to be proud of. Keep the inspiration and the love flowing.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Tue, Oct 6, 2009, at 12:58 PM

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