White Rock Gymnastics’ Jenna McBain will be recognized for her volunteer efforts at the 2020 Sport BC Awards in March. (Contributed photo)

‘Heart and soul’ of White Rock Gymnastics to be recognized for volunteer efforts

Jenna McBain to recieve Presidents’ Award at upcoming Sport BC Awards

Seven years ago, Jenna McBain needed a change.

Tired of a career in the retail industry, she decided to apply for a job as a part-time receptionist at Langley Gymnastics, despite having no experience in the field or history with the sport.

“I just wanted to try something different,” she said.

She got the job, and to say it worked out – not just for her, but for hundreds of young gymnasts, too – is something of an understatement.

Now the operations manager of White Rock Gymnastics, where she has worked for the past five years, McBain, an avid volunteer, is set to be honoured with a Presidents’ Award at next month’s 2020 Sport BC Awards. The award is handed out annually to “volunteers from Sport BC member organizations who represent the spirit of volunteerism and whose dedication, energy and commitment contributed to the development of their sports or organization.”

McBain was nominated for the award by Gymnastics BC, which last October also named her its volunteer of the year.

“It totally came out of the blue. I didn’t know I was getting it, but absolutely, it was a nice surprise,” said McBain, who found out about the Sport BC nomination last fall.

She will receive her award at a March 12 event at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

• READ ALSO: ‘This is what I do’: White Rock Divers founder

• READ ALSO: Former Surrey gymnast shines on rugby pitch for Bayside

Since joining White Rock Gymnastics – which operates under the same umbrella as White Rock Divers, and shares a facility just off Croydon Drive in South Surrey – McBain has served as both office and operations manager, and has also put in countless volunteer hours developing an adapted-needs program for special-needs students.

Today, the program – which received a boost a few years ago in the form of a $1,000 grant from provincial sports organization ViaSport – hosts about 50 students from local schools, with three one-hour sessions held each week.

“It’s probably what I’m most well-known for in South Surrey. I just saw a great need for a gymnastics program that was structured for special-needs students,” explained McBain, a Langley resident whose volunteer experience also includes time with Operation Red Nose and also as a coach with the BC Winter Games.

“I didn’t have any gymnastics background when I started but I just love working with children, and I worked with a lot of special-needs athletes at my old gym (in Langley) as well, so it’s been a great fit. It’s just been a passion of mine.”

In her role as operations manager, McBain has also been instrumental in numerous other projects, from scheduling events or taking a lead role in the remodelling of the facility.

She is also the chief social-media co-ordinator for the gymnastics centre, and is so active in promoting others that, when asked by PAN if there were any photos of her working at the facility, her colleagues came up empty.

“She’s usually behind the camera,” said Jen Olthoff, White Rock Gymnastics’ recreational director.

Bev Boys, the founder of White Rock Divers – and someone McBain called “a great mentor to me” – told Peace Arch News that McBain “has changed the face of White Rock Gymnastics and Diving Academy.”

“Jenna is amazing. One of the kindest and hardest working people I have ever worked with,” Boys continued. “Amazing volunteer, fundraiser and (she) never stops thinking about how things can be better.”

The accolades come from other members of the organization, too.

Gymnastics coach Rosemary Roblin called her “an incredible part of the heart and soul of White Rock Gymnastics,” while Joanne Pfeffer, the parent of a gymnast, said McBain “is an exceptional example of a leader that is deeply invested in our gym, community and sport.”

In addition to the Presidents’ Award, the March 12 event will also see a handful of local athletes honoured for successful 2019 performances. Surrey athletes up for awards include former White Rock Renegades pitcher Sara Groenewegen – currently a member of the Canadian national women’s softball team – Semiahmoo Secondary basketball star Deja Lee and Semiahmoo Peninsula coach Lynn Kanuka.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

gymnasticsVolunteer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wally Oppal says policing ‘too important’ to be left to the police

Oppal was keynote speaker at a Surrey Board of Trade “Hot Topic Dialogue” breakfast event Wednesday

Flip-flopping pleas in Surrey man’s 2018 murder in West Kelowna

Following an shocking guilty plea on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou applied to retract that plea on Feb. 26

Surrey skater speeds his way to four golds, a silver at BC Winter Games

‘I just really enjoy going fast on the ice,’ says Barnett Liu, 14

‘Urgent’ need for Metro Vancouver homeless count volunteers

Organizers say another 100 people are sought to help in Surrey and Burnaby

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say missing 14-year-old has been found and is safe

Brayden Ritchat, 14, had been last seen in the 10800-block of 141st Street in Whalley on Feb. 21

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Alberta tourist dies after plunge from 70-metre cliff in Stanley Park

The 26-year-old hopped a fence at Prospect Point on fell to a walkway below, police said

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

New Westminster woman’s ‘out of character’ disappearance probed by police

She left without telling anyone, prompting investigation by Major Crimes Unit, police say

EDITORIAL: Fraser Health needs to be transparent to fight coronavirus panic

Fraser Health and other authorities are not helping by being vague in recent communications

Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart rescues puppy from Langley shelter

American actress named her adopted pup Milo

How clean is your favourite local restaurant or café?

Online inspection reports allow consumers to find health hazard of all food facilities in region

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Most Read