The Parks and Recreation Department is thrilled to share the news that New Westminster's very own Gymnastics and Trampoline Program Coordinator Valerie Johnson, will be inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2020! Valerie is an integral leader of the excellent gymnastics programming we have enjoyed in the city for many years. Congratulations Val!
Val was welcomed to the class of 2020 on Tuesday, October 29, at the BC Sports Hall of Fame Announcement Day event. She will be inducted into the Hall in the Coach-Builder category. Individuals in this category have attained a high level of excellence and have brought honour to British Columbia sport through ongoing dedication to the building of athletes, teams, or sport itself. Valerie Johnson has definitely hit those targets.
During Val’s extensive 50-year career, she became the first Canadian National Trampoline Champion 1971 and dominated the sport for the next 3 years as the 3-time Canadian National Champion, (1971 - 73).
Val established the Shasta Trampoline Team in 1975 which has produced a number of national and world champions, including the first female world trampoline champion, Christine Tough 1982.
Valerie Johnson has been the principle driving force behind Canada’s oldest, and most successful competitive trampoline team, one of Canada’s most successful municipal recreational gymnastic program, and the largest recreational circus school in Canada, the Vancouver Circus School.
Val joined the New Westminster’s Gymnastic Program in September 1969 (at 16 years old!) and became the supervisor in 1975. The Parks and Recreation Trampoline, Tumbling, Gymnastics programs have been a highlight to the City of New Westminster since 1975.
Val is the only Gymnastics and Trampoline Programmer ever employed by the Parks and Recreation Department and after 50 years of service, she is still passionate about bringing the sport of gymnastics and trampoline to the general public. Through her leadership and dedication, Val has grown the program to become the 2nd largest lesson based activity in our department. She has done so by creating a culture of family amongst her staff team and the community members that participate. At any given time, she has 45 staff working under her supervision and has taught them to teach and share the sport she loves to thousands of participants each year.
Be sure to give her a high-five when you see her.