The Woolwich Gymnastics Club has brought a few medals home after their first showing in a provincial meet.
Five girls from the club were in Belleville on June 10 to compete against Ontario’s best, and two walked away with medals.
Welcome Gilbert and Allison Saulesleja placed third overall, while Jordyn Kelly walked away with a fourth-place ribbon in the bar event.
Saulesleja says the experience was amazing, especially while listening for her name to be called.
“I got first place in the floor category. It was crazy,” she said. “There are so many girls that I am competing against, and then they announce the names first to last, and I heard my name first, and I was like shocked. It was insane.”
Gilbert says she is proud of herself after all of her training has paid off. She placed first in floor, and third overall.
“It felt really good. It is different because it is bigger and there are a bunch of different groups. It was overwhelming a little,” she said. “Floor was my best event. That one is my favourite. I like that you can use all your different skills, and it is more creative. I was in a group of 40 and everything is just right there in your face, but I definitely want to do it again.”Jordyn Kelly placed fourth in bars, and even though it isn’t her favourite of the events, she wants to go back to provincials and do even better next year.
“I liked it, I thought it was really fun. It was much different than the other competitions. It was quicker and really big,” she said, adding that the event presented a challenge. “My bar score was the best score I got, but my favourite is floor. The hardest part of bars is probably when I do my front hip circle. I usually always fall on that one.”
Head gymnastics coach Maria Code says she is very proud of the girls, especially on their first run at the provincial-level competition.
“It was pretty amazing. There are a lot of clubs throughout Ontario and it was great to see our girls hold their own.
I thought the girls were going to be really nervous, but they were fine,” she said, adding that seeing the hard work pay off is satisfying for the coaches. “It feels really good. We probably train half as many hours as the other club, and for us to go there, place and do as well as we did, after training half the hours, it is pretty awesome.”
For next year, the club will be training even harder to get as many girls as possible at provincials.
“We want everyone to go next time. This year we had eight girls that could possibly go, and we had five compete, so that was really good. Next year, whoever is competing at level three and at least nine years old, which is pretty much our whole team next year, so we are thinking 11 out of 11. Fingers crossed and some hard work.”
The gymnasts get a week off before they are back in the gym on July 12.