Alberni woman turns love of sport into U.S. business
Carmen Delano was part of the Port Alberni Gymnastics Academy from an early age. For 14 years she participated at various competitions in the Alberni Valley, Vancouver Island and the B.C., and received a number of awards. she was also an avid competitive swimmer.
More than 12 years ago Delano, whose family still lives in the Alberni Valley, moved to California where she continued her passion for the sport of gymnastics as a coach and a business person.
Recently, Carmen Delano opened her second gymnasium to instruct more than 300 junior athletes, ranging from three years old to young adults.
The five-hour grand opening of the sports centre, attended by more than 300 people, was launched with the attendance by members of the Chamber of Commerce, parents and athletes, followed by a variety of activities, including demonstrations of the students and coaches’ gymnastic skills, a variety of games, trophy presentations, food, and outdoor fun events.
Delano has repeatedly expressed appreciation for the support and the lifetime experience she gained while attending her classes in the Port Alberni Gymnastics Academy, said her father Orlando.
These classes gave Delano a sense of determination, discipline and focus, and led her to build her own academy from the ground up.
“I have wonderful memories of my Port Alberni coaches, my fellow athletes and the volunteers, most of them parents, and the fun I had on trips to the various competitions,” she says.
“Here in California I have made lots of friends and met wonderful young people who enjoy gymnastics. In many cases, I see some of them becoming future competitors at high levels in the sport.”
Back in May, Delano was featured in one of the Ventura County newspapers, which reported on her accomplishments as owner/operator and head coach of Delano Athletica Junior Gymnastics.
In a short time, Delano has become a popular figure in this field and gradually her name is being recognized by the Ventura/Oxnard community as one who is committed to make gymnastics more accessible and enjoyable.
“My goal is to provide young children with physical activity aiming to encourage a healthy lifestyle,” she says. “The practice of gymnastics provides it, as they concentrate and focus in the development of body awareness and self regulation and discipline, all that in a fun and safe environment.”