Jon Mason.

Community Leader: Jon Mason

Jon Mason received honourable mention in the coach category for the Community Leader Awards

Jon Mason is a big believer in the value of sports for kids.

And not simply for the physical or competitive benefits they provide.

The head coach of the men’s gymnastics program at the Okanagan Gymnastics Centre, Jon strives to help his students to become better athletes but, more importantly, to help them develop into well-rounded people.

“I’ve always believed it’s important to get kids involved in sports and keep them involved,” Jon says. “It keeps them off the streets and doing something they can grow from.

“It’s not just a sport to me. I find 70 per cent is about teaching them life skills, things like respect, manners and a good work ethic. Sport is beneficial in so many ways and I’m glad I can put my experiences to good use in doing that.”

A former competitive gymnast who spent part of his youth in the Czech Republic, Jon came to OGC last year from Delta Gymnastics, where he was named B.C. Gymnastics coach of the year.

Since taking over in Kelowna in the summer of 2015, the men’s artistic program has enjoyed a resurgence, growing from six to 20 members in the last year.

Under Jon’s guidance, OGC is also achieving unprecedented success for their male competitors, with several medals being won at regional, provincial and national events.

“In the past year, the boys have realized massive growth and incredible success under Jon’s leadership,” said Shauna Nyrose, a parent of one of Jon’s athletes, Jack. “He goes above and beyond for his kids.”

Leaving his job in Delta and coming to Kelowna may have been a bit of a career risk, but Jon is finding life in the Okanagan much more to this liking.

“I was brought up in the country, so I just found Vancouver was too big for me,” he says. “Every time I came here I just fell in love with the place. The gym here is much smaller, but I really like the club and really enjoy coaching these boys.”

Since joining OGC, Jon has maintained relationships with gyms on the Lower Mainland, organizing several weekend road trips for his athletes to train with other B.C. gymnasts and coaches.

Just Posted

Lake Country house fire causes $50,000 in damage

Fire crews responded to the blaze Monday night

More multi-family housing projects proposed for Kelowna

Projects in Rutland and the Mission areas of the city proposed

Kelowna man charged with killing wife, daughters in court today

Progress in year old murder case is slow going

West Kelowna council tentatively sets tax hike in budget

The tentative tax hike is set at 3.9%

West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

The city looks to solve what they are calling a critical shortage of firefighters

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Auto shop apologizes after B.C. employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

One-third of pregnant women think cannabis won’t harm their baby: UBC

Review of six U.S. studies found doctors didn’t communicate health risks of pot use

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

Most Read