Gerald Lomond was one of the pioneers for the sport of Gymnastics in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. His involvement began in the 1960’s when he was one of three founding members of a provincial Gymnastics association and the founder of a gymnastics club in Gander. A physical education teacher at Gander Academy, Lomond saw a chance in 1969 to purchase gymnastics equipment to create a school-based gymnastics program for his school. He was enthusiastic to work with a sport where elementary aged children could participate competitively. His interests intensified and led him to travel outside the province to gain knowledge and training through various workshops and clinics. As the sport was getting organized in Newfoundland, his dedication and willingness to travel, learn and earn certifications helped kick-start gymnastics in Newfoundland and Labrador. Lomond became an advocate for new coaches and clubs, he gave his time to those looking to further the sport and instilled a culture of development and loyalty in members that is still evident today as many of his club members have taken on lead roles in the provincial gymnastics association. Under Lomond’s leadership the gymnastic club in Gander is the longest continuous running club in our province. The club has helped foster many athletes while also opening its doors so all children could participate. He fostered a culture of giving back and encouraged an atmosphere, which included volunteerism at a young age. Free programming was offered to recreational athletes by requiring competitive athletes to assist with coaching at the beginner levels. Gander did not charge registration fees for participants until the late 1970’s and even then he tried to maintain a low cost so all children had the opportunity to learn the sport. Lomond was determined to spread Gymnastics around the province and he found the ways to do so. This effort resulted in him being responsible for developing five gymnastics clubs on the island portion of the province. As an advocate for gymnastics, he would travel to communities providing gymnastic displays and encouraging parents, recreational facilities and physical education teachers to start clubs in their communities. Port aux Basques, Glovertown, and Grand Falls all began successful clubs under Lomond’s mentorship, clinics to train coaches, organizing volunteers and regular consultations.
When the Newfoundland and Labrador Games concept started in 1976 Lomond lobbied for the sport of Gymnastics to be one of the sports in the first 1978 provincial Winter Games. The sport was accepted into the games program and Lomond was named the sport’s convenor. This led to the creation of a new gymnastics club in Lewisporte and Clarenville when those communities were the host site for the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games. Lomond advocated for provincial grants to ensure that Lewisporte and Clarenville had equipment ahead of their prospective games hosting. He helped to train coaches, select equipment, supported parents and provided advice for starting clubs. His determination led to the Towns of Lewisporte and Clarenville successfully starting gymnastics clubs and developing teams for the hosting of the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games. With so many clubs established Lomond continued to work with the development of the sport. As the provincial Women’s Technical Chairperson for several years, he was a leader in the development of the first set of Atlantic Canadian Women’s Technical rules used to govern Atlantic Canadian Championships. He also adopted the USA compulsory program to ease development and make beginner coaching and judging easier for those being introduced to the sport.
He held many roles over the years including Women’s Judging Chair, Provincial Judging Clinician and Men’s Technical Chairperson. Lomond was one of the first certified NCCP clinicians for Gymnastics in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and he was also instrumental in developing the province’s first gymnastics’ officials and judges. Lomond was ahead of his time pushing for videotapes for training purposes so distribution of routines with script and scoring with regulations was easily accomplished. During the first three decades that gymnastics was developing in our province Gerald Lomond was a lead coach, official, and executive member who can be credited with many firsts for his sport. His efforts helped foster Gymnastics development and contributed to the success of its athletes and clubs in this province. For his contribution to the success of gymnastics in his hometown Lomond was inducted into the Gymnastics Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Gander Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.