The Campbell River Gymnastics Association is doing back-flips since four of its top athletes earned a spot on Team B.C. by shining at the provincial championships in April.
Jordan Loock, Hannah Herschler, Carson Ogg, and Jackson Martin all performed excellently at the meet to claim their place on the squad, which will aim to beat the other provinces at the 2022 Canadian Championships in Richmond on May 21 to 31.
While getting a chance to represent the province at the nationals is an honour, the real story is the dedication it took to come this far.
Head coach/ program director Todd Sader said the top gymnasts at the club train 4.5 hours a day, five days a week for 11 months of the year.
“It’s a big commitment,” he said.
Many athletes weren’t willing or able to make that commitment over the last couple years, where training and competing was made even more difficult by the pandemic.
“Having to do online meets isn’t very social, and it isn’t very fun,” said fellow CRGA coach Toni Vance.
“But (these athletes) managed to stay in it. The team is very close knit, and they really helped lift each other up though COVID, and build upon their skills.”
Herschler, 16, is a level nine senior, who also competed at the Western Canadian Gymnastics Championships in Manitoba at the end of April.
Vance said her specialty is in parallel bars, but noted her skill in vault is strong too.
“She’s come a long way on beam and floor,” Vance said as well.
Loock, who is a level 10 senior, is also quite adept on the parallel bars. The 15-year-old won a silver at the event at least year’s Canadian Championships – an accomplishment which the club is extremely proud of, considering she was the first girl from the team to qualify for the nationals.
Jackson Martin, who competes as a junior gymnast, also earned a spot at the Canadian Championships last year, finishing second overall.
“He did really, really well,” Sader said.
Martin, 16, will be one of the younger gymnasts in his new division, so it will be a bit of a steep curve competition wise, but his coach said he has “upped his game,” so is expecting to do well again.
The club’s top senior is Ogg,18, who is competing in the Next Generation division. He joined Martin at least year’s national competition, and acts in a leadership role for the team.
A final training camp with the other top gymnasts in the province takes place May 13-15.
The boys will workout in Abbotsford, and the girls will train in Port Coquitlam.
Sader noted how proud he is of the athletes.
“They’re amazing kids with drive and work ethic, and coachability,” he said.