Young and budding gymnasts from across the northwest are coming together to compete in an invitational meet at the Terrace Peaks Gymnastics Club this Saturday, Feb. 20.
With 75 athletes from Smithers, Kitimat and Terrace, the event will put young gymnasts to the test with routines on the floor, beam, vault and bar, doing leaps and handsprings, circles, cartwheels and much more.
Nine-year-old Terrace competitor Carissa Nenninger said she is looking forward to competing.
“It’s fun. You get to show off some skills you’ve learned,” she said.
The weekend she is “getting a bit more experience competing in front of people,” she said, adding that she hopes to go to provincials later this year.
Nenninger started competing in gymnastics two years ago, but she has been in gymnastics for as long as she can remember.
“It’s fun to learn new stuff, new skills like soul circles and handstands on the bar,” she said of the sport. “I like doing roundoff back handsprings.”
Eight-year-old Piper MacCormac from Terrace is new this year to competition.
“I’m really nervous,” she said, agreeing that being in front of people is hard.
Asked why she decided to complete, Piper said “new things,” adding that she likes the challenge of the sport.
“I just like doing the hard stuff and then being challenged,” she said.
“I like having a more strict coach because they make me do the level of things I’m at. They don’t push me too hard or do things too easy,” she said of the coaches.
The Terrace meet this weekend has 19 young Terrace gymnasts signed up to compete.
Coach Karl McPherson said it is important for their development as athletes.
“It is a perfect opportunity for our young athletes, from a developmental point of view, to have competitive experience,” he said, adding that this way they can test and see if they enjoy competition, before spending money to travel outside of the zone to compete.
For the older competitive athletes, it is preparation for provincial championships, which are coming up in Langley April 14-17.
This Saturday’s annual fundraiser at Terrace’s Peaks Gymnastics will have admission by donation. The junior olympic level one athletes compete at 9:30 a.m. with awards at noon. Level 2 and 3 compete at 1 p.m. with awards at 4 p.m. All the other levels compete at 5 p.m. with awards at 8 p.m.