A pair of local gymnasts made good at their first competition, taking home two silver medals at the Ninja-Nastics Boys’ Invitational in Ajax.Peyton Robertson (Level 1) brought back a silver medal in the pommel horse event, and Carson Hoos (Level 2) won silver on the vault. Both gymnasts also finished fifth in their categories, with scores of 36.150 and 42.800 respectively.
“We’re happy with how they did,” said coach Heather Arsenault. “It was their first competition ever, so obviously it was a learning experience.”
“We’re very proud of the boys – they represented the club well and showed great sportsmanship,” added executive member Tracey Saulesleja.
The Ajax tournament, held by the Ajax Acros and Durham Gymnastics Academy, marked the first competition of the year for boys’ gymnastics. What does it take to be successful on the old bars and beams?
“We try to emphasize that how you practice is how you’ll perform, so it’s putting in the effort,” said Arsenault, noting that contestants typically spend 5-6 hours each week practicing. However, she added, “I do like them to have fun, because otherwise there’s no point in them doing it.”
She continued, “They have to be focused. They have to be conscious of form. They obviously have to put in a lot of hours of practice to get to this point, so they do a routine on each of the events and they have to know their routines.”
A typical tournament will put the boys through six competitions – floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, and the parallel and horizontal bars. “Form is important – we generally learn skills and then go back and make them look really good,” laughed Arsenault.
“They’re working on developing strength, flexibility, working as a team, and at the bottom line, having fun,” she added.
The boys’ next competition is in May. “We’re looking at hopefully bringing in some new skills and seeing where we go,” said Arsenault.
After that, the club will wrap up the season with its annual end-of-year demonstration in June.