The sport of rhythmic gymnastics did not make its presence felt in Prince Albert until the late 1980s when Czechoslovakian coach Jirina Nekola began working with the Prince Albert Rhythmic Gymnastics Club.
A tragic car accident took Jirina’s life in 1988 and to replace her the club brought in Victoria Buruiana from Romania. A year after the tragic accident a group of girls joined the club and for the next five years they dominated at every level of competition.
The group, which included Lauren Allen, Allison Krush, Laura Mann, Gina McKay, Dreanne Studer and Nadine Walker, captured provincial gold in the novice category in 1989 and ’90 then followed that up with two consecutive provincial junior titles in 1991 and ’92 and concluded their amazing run with another provincial title in the senior division in 1993.
The group of young women were western regional junior champions in 1991 and ’92 and finished second in the senior division in 1993 in Winnipeg. The group’s proudest moment came in 1991 when they captured the gold medal at the Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The Prince Albert troupe added another national title the following year and was runner‑up in 1993, but the group had already made their mark in the sport.
Sask Sport recognized their achievements by presenting them with the Team of the Month Award on two different occasions ‑ June 1991 and July 1992, and the City of Prince Albert acknowledged the 1991 national championship with a plaque presentation at City Hall.
Rhythmic gymnastics, which features disciplines using apparatus such as a ball, hoop, clubs, ribbons and rope and combines this with ballet and dance, is a unique sport and Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame is proud to give them a place in the local shrine in the team category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.