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Worldly gymnastics coach brings new form to Drumheller valley club


    Those of us looking to rid a spare tire will have a world-class gymnastics and fitness coach to work with come fall.
    Jakki Woywitka, 28, will be bringing a long resumé of experience to the gymnastics program of Drumheller Gymnastics Club when she arrives in September.
    “We are extremely excited,” says Cathy Smoliak past chair of the club. “She has a lot to offer to both the club and community.”
    Attaining her Bachelors of Sport Management from the University Canberra in Australia, the Vancouver Island native has over 12 years experience in sports management behind her.
    Woywitka holds Level 3 Artistic Gymnastics and Trampoline Coach certifications.
    She has coached and lived in five different countries, training with national team coaches from Russia and China, and trained others in Austria, Finland, Turkey, Mexico, and Australia.
    Woywitka worked with Gymnastics Canada and Alberta as a NCCP course facilitator. When a couple of coaches from Drumheller had said their head coach was leaving, she was invited to bring her expertise to Drumheller.
    What brings her from all over the world to Drumheller is the prospect of building a program from the ground up.
    “I’m really excited for the opportunity to take a club from where they are now to make it grow into something that will benefit the community,” Woywitka says.
    Woywitka will allow the club to offer new programs in gymnastics and general health and wellness that will begin in the fall.
    A new program the club hopes to bring is the training of other sports leagues, which is beginning with the skating clubs but ideas are in plan to expand to hockey.
    “Woywitka will be a huge asset to the club, allowing us to offer more programs and tackle a wider range of programs - from toddlers to adults,” says Smoliak.
    “Struggling students will have classes open to them to promote growth.”
    The new changes at the Drumheller Gymnastics Club will  begin to take effect this fall.
    “The training opportunities for all our current coaches will be greater because of her diverse  background, as well as being a facilitator for our gymnastics programs.”

Canadian Passion Play returns to Drumheller in July


    Every year the Canadian Passion Play undergoes minor “tweaking” to improve the already starkly authentic play that is set to continue its almost two decade run on the weekends of July 9 and 16.
    The Passion Play has made a number of physical changes to the grounds and infrastructure, as well as enhancements to the script and a number of scenes.
    “When you include Bill Hamm’s musical arrangements with the choir, it all adds up to what we believe will be our best Passion Play performance ever. Thankfully, amidst all of these changes, we’ve kept our core group of leading actors intact,” says artistict director Randall Wiebe.
    The actors playing Matthew (Saskatoon actor/playwright, Tim Hildebrand), Mary Magdalene (British/African actress Lennette Randall), and Jesus (Strathmore’s Stephen Waldschmidt) will be returning to play the lead trio.
    “Their performances and audience feedback were exceptional, so we decided to repeat it again this year,” says Wiebe. “Also returning for his third season as Jesus is Waldschmidt who has grown into his role with an understanding and passion that is a joy to watch.”
    The Passion Play is also welcoming David Snider back to their fold, who played Jesus in 2007. 
    “David who has played the lead role in several recent summer musicals at Rosebud Theatre will portray Sadduk, one of the top Pharisees in Jerusalem.  He will also be the understudy for both Jesus and Matthew. David is a consummate professional actor who makes us all better.”
    Wiebe says 2010 is a special year for Passion Plays, as many North Americans will be travelling to Oberammergau, Germany to see their version of the Passion Play, only performed every 10 years.
    “Many patrons tell us they have seen the Oberammergau version and they prefer ours,” says Wiebe, “because it is so authentic both visually and geographically.”
    Another change that may affect the way you buy tickets this year, is seating is now assigned. Tickets can be purchased allowing the audience to choose where they would like to sit.
    Tickets can be bought online at or by dialling 1-888-823-2001.
    The first weekend of shows starts on July 9 and 10 at 6:00 p.m., July 11 at 3:00 p.m., then the second weekend Friday, July 16 at 6:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, July 17 and 18 at 3:00 p.m.

‘Small Town Hero’ could bring Paul Brandt to Hussar to perform


    Paul Brandt could be coming to Hussar to perform a free concert, but the Hussar community needs everyone’s vote to make this happen.
    Paul Brandt fan, Nichole Faye, fell on a link to a ‘Small Town Heroes’ contest, run by the UFA, when she was browsing Brandt’s website.
 “While reading the contest rules, the first person that came to mind was my auntie Wendy [Kaiser]!” she told The Mail.
    The UFA wants to celebrate people who make a difference in rural communities and small towns across Alberta, the company describes as “Small Town Heroes.”
    They are asking people to nominate a person who “do all the right things to make their town a better place to live. And, they do it without any thought for themselves.”
    People will then vote who they want to win and the two people and their communities who have the most votes by the end of the contest will receive a free concert from Country superstar Paul Brandt as well as $2,500 to donate towards their community efforts.
    Speaking with Faye, it is easy to understand why she nominated her auntie.
    “She is always there, no matter what you ask her, she volunteers all the time,” she explained. “She has three kids that are fully grown and gone  but she is still the leader of the Hussar 4-H Beef Club,  she is still involved with the horse club and the school, she is still involved with everything to do with our little community. She was there fighting for our school when it was getting closed down even though her last child graduated in 2008, she was still there fighting right beside us. No matter what, she is a very busy lady but she always finds time for her family and our community.”
    So Faye got busy on Facebook, asking her friends to follow the link she put on her wall, texting everyone and getting her family involved too in Hussar [She is currently working in Edmonton].  Her cousin Brady, son of Wendy, has even made up posters.
    Her efforts have so far paid off, Wendy Kaiser has stayed top of the nominees list since the contest started.
    Asked whether she was surprised by the response, Faye said, “I actually am, I thought people would brush it off thinking it was kind of silly, but actually everybody in our community agrees 100 per cent with me, and says ‘yeah Wendy deserves this, she is 100 per cent the most involved person in our community and she deserves something back.’”
    What drove Faye too was a desire to give something back to a community she loves.
    “It’s something for our community too. It is  kind of dying lately and I want people to come back to our community and see how amazing a community Hussar actually is.”
    Nominations end on August 30, 2010 and the winners will be announced on September 15.   

    To vote for Wendy Kaiser, log on to
    Look for Wendy in the nominees list, open the link to her story and click ‘vote’. One vote a day is allowed.


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