The Roundup -

Badlands Gymnastics Club Looks to Promising Future with New Coaches


February 7, 2018 | View PDF

All Around of the Frost Bite Invitational competed on Friday, January 26. Team L3, (L to R) Navy Barker, 4th place; Taylor Carmack, 2nd place; Addyson Gendreau, 1st place; Annabelle Coughlin, 3rd place and Trinity Hernandez, 5th place. (Photo by Wendy Lough)

In 1984, a young lady embarked on a journey to bring gymnastics to the tiny town of Watford City ND. The club started as a parent run organization and was called the twisters back then. The club has grown through the years, is now called the Badlands Gymnastics Club and is still a parent run organization.

What started in the basement of a bank building has grown into a bottom portion of the Rough Rider Center, in 2016, the gym is roughly a 120x75 feet location. This move has proven to be an asset to the organization. The program has over 300 children; from tiny tots to teens. What once was only available to the children and teens of Watford City seven months out of the year, is now a year round activity. They have children and teens who travel from Alexander, Arnegard, and a few who followed Pat and Jan from Sidney to train and compete with the Watford City children and teens.

Brandee Proffit and Kelcee Wold became Program Coordinator and President in 2014. Brandee relocated back to her hometown in Arizona in 2017, that was when the Badlands Gymnastics Club welcomed Pat and Jan McMillian to help with the coaching.

Pat and Jan, like Brandee, and Kelcee have gymnastics coursing through them. They have been involved with gymnastics since they were in high school. Pat continued his passion through out his collegiate years, while Jan started a series of gymnastics schools right after she graduated from high school. Jan sold her gym, and went to work for another gym where she met Pat while working in San Antonio, TX. That is where their 32-year story and journey began. Pat and Jan have lived, opened up, ran and consulted for not only themselves, but for other gyms as well. Their journey is one solely blessed by God. They have traveled and worked for gyms in Kansas and Texas, where they decided that they were tired of working for other people and went into business for themselves. After loosing their lease in Texas, they bought a gym in Great Bend, Kansas from 1990-1997. In 1996 they purchased a second gym in Manhattan, Kansas. They ran both Great Bend and Manhattan for a year and decided to concentrate solely on the Manhattan gym from 1996-2002. In 2002 they sold the gym and moved to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where they went to Bible College. They still worked and coached in the gymnastics arena while there.

Pat was offered an associates Pastoral position in Santa Rosa California for two years. Naturally, they remained in the gymnastics area while in California. During this time Pat also started up a gymnastics consulting business. Not only were they coaching, they also took three gyms and turned them around. Two of those three gyms are still operating to this day. Once the Pastoral job ended, they answered an ad for a family needing a private coach to run their private gym in Montana. Once again while there, Pat and Jan started a gym for the children in the town as well. This was a two-year contract. Once that contract ended they decided they were going to retire from gymnastics. They were asked to start a church in Sidney, Montana for another Pastor. In 2010 they were going to retire, but in 2011 were asked to start a gym in Sidney.

Here we are in 2018 where Pat and Jan are still going strong, still have not retired, and are having too much fun to retire now. I was in awe over the smoothness of how well the invitational went. The parent volunteers truly help Pat and Jan with this organization. The volunteers not only help clean their new location, they pitch in and set up the gym for the meets, bake homemade goodies, set up the tables for merchandising, collect money for the invites, and they also help with the daily tasks during the practices. With these parent volunteers being active and willing to pitch in and help where ever they are needed, it took a lot of pressure off the coaches and the judges.

From the outside looking in and this invitational being my first experience with the Badlands Gymnastics Club, they all made me feel welcome. It was a relaxed, friendly, fun atmosphere with lots of smiles, laughter and cheers. The gym was full for both days of the Frost Bite event.

Since moving into the Rough Rider Center, the Club has added the competition team back in, and added a ninja group for boys who want a little bit different routine than the normal gymnastics.

Kelcee Wold, who has been with this organization since 1990 with her Dad as her coach, stated, "that the club is hoping to one day host a qualifying meet in their facility along with continuing the Frost Bite Invite. The gym is one of amazement, its safe to say, it is one of the nicest in the upper Midwest. That other gyms across North Dakota and eastern Montana would love to compete here."

Gymnastics isn't just in these coaches blood, its a way of life for them. One that they enjoy and it shows by the smiles that radiate from the inside out when they are talking about their passion.


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