BURLINGTON — What started out as a training camp for provincial level power tumblers soon became much more for six of the nine North Bay Apollo Club athletes attending Tumble and Twist, an annual training camp held here.
The camp brought athletes from all over Ontario to work with coaches, clinicians and experts in various events.
“It is an amazing weekend for the kids,” Josh Tessier, the provincial tumbling coach at Apollo, said.
Also included in the weekend was a qualifying competition for the Eastern Canadian championships, in Montreal in May. All of the athletes from Apollo took part in the competition.
“I had two athletes slated to try out for Easterns,” Dave Harris, the national level tumbling coach,added. “But when we saw how many of the younger athletes from other clubs were trying to make the team,we did some last minute work and ended up with sis athletes making their respective teams”.
“I am so happy for the athletes who will attend Easterns,” Tessier added, “ This will be the first big meet for some of them, competing against athletes from the Eastern provinces. I can’t believe how well our athletes rose to the challenge and performed last weekend.”
In the Canadian ‘C’ level of competition, Rachel Fung, Alison Fung, Sarah Swain and Kathleen McParland all competed in the 12 and under category.
Rachel Fung had one of the best meets of the year and ended up in 13th place all around out of 19 competitors.
Alison Fung ended up in 10th place with a strong first pass and an overall score of 53.20.
Swain, who is an artistic athlete and therefore ineligible to compete at the Eastern championships, finished in ninth place and McParland finished in eighth place. Both will go on to compete in Montreal.
In the ‘C’ level 13 and above category, Candice Healy, a first-year competitor with Apollo, finished an impressive fifth place overall, making the ‘B’ team for Easterns.
Stephanie Beauparlant won the competition, with two gold medals and one silver to her credit. Beauparlant will lead the ‘A’ team for Ontario.
In the Canadian ‘B’ level, Nathan Swain, who is 10, finished in seventh place, good enough to be part of the ‘B’ team attending the championship meet.
Samantha McParland competed in the highest level of competition, the Canadian ‘A’ level. Her overall score of 54.2 put her in fourth place at the end of the meet, qualifying her to be a part of the ‘A’ team going to Montreal.
“I was very happy with our athletes’ strong showing at this trials meet,” Tessier said.
“These athletes have some excellent opportunities now. Gymnastics Ontario is working to provide direction and motivation for all levels of athletes, and it is definitely helping to attract children to this sport.”
Tessier and Samantha McParland will be heading out to Calgary to take advantage of another opportunity soon, when they go out to compete at the national age-groups competition.
“I’ve been working really hard, as has Samantha, and national age-groups will be an exciting meet. We both want to make Indo-Pacifics in July, so this is the first big step for us. Our team is getting stronger all the time, and the Eastern trials meet in Burlington just proves how much talent we have coming up through the ranks. It’s great to be part of it,” Tessier said.
PHOTO: Candice Healy, left, a first-year competitor with Apollo, finished an impressive fifth overall, making the ‘B’ team for the Eastern Canadian championships.
Stephanie Beauparlant, right, with two gold medals and one silver to her credit, will lead the Ontario ‘A’ team.