Kanata GymnoSphere competitive program doubles in participation & provincial prizes

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The 2018 Kanata GymnoSphere provincial team.

–By Ottawa Sportspage, For Kanata GymnoSphere

Last year was an impressive premiere for Kanata GymnoSphere, but year 2 under competitive coaches Fiodor Martea and Lauren Mooney was twice as nice.

The club more than doubled its competitive program size (to roughly 75) and the number of qualifiers for the Level 6-10 Ontario Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships (to 13), and scored a pair of provincial all-around titles as well.

“I’m really, really pleased with the evolution of the competitive program here,” signals Mooney, the Competitive Program Manager. “I think we offer a very good program, definitely striving towards being the best in Ottawa – not just in terms of results, but everything we do and what we’re all about, our whole philosophy.”

From the club’s leaders and role models at the higher levels who went on to represent Ontario at the Eastern Canadian Championships, to the younger athletes who were challenged to move up from the compulsory levels, Kanata GymnoSphere’s entire Level 6-10 team made the mark to qualify for provincials this season.

That’s no small feat, Mooney highlights, given the commitment required from athletes to attend training most days of the week, even when they’re not feeling 100%; from coaches to manage their programs, work on injury prevention, new skill development and refining of the basics; and from parents to support all aspects of their involvement in the sport, including bringing them to practice and competitions, and making late-night meals.

“It’s a lot of work,” Mooney underlines. “To me, they’re all little champions.”
Meet the team:

IMG_9777.jpgEmma Ireland
Level 6, Age 9
B Floor
What was it like going to your first provincials compared to other competitions?
“It was way different. There were 2 gyms. I felt nervous, and really excited, but I just told myself to think of it like I was in training.”

IMG_9774.jpgSamantha Stafford
Level 6, Age 10
G All-Around
G Uneven Bars
S Vault
What was your reaction when you found out you were provincial champion?
“I thought I was going to get maybe 5th, but I ended up on the podium, so I was very surprised. I’m really happy for everyone on my team. They all did a great job.”

IMG_9773.jpgTehya Hopkins
Level 6, Age 11
How do you like having many teammates to train with?
“It’s really great. We all get along really well. We cheer each other on and help each other out. And we comfort and support each other.”

IMG_9771.jpgVictoria Beaudin
Level 6, Age 11
How come your team was so successful this year?
“It’s because of our coaches. They’re such good quality and they make sure we do proper techniques, not sloppy. Our coaches are really nice. They help you learn new skills, and if you have any little setbacks, they’ll help you get through it.”

IMG_9768Mila Dwivedi
Level 6, Age 10
What do you enjoy most about gymnastics?
“It’s really fun, especially tumbling. And going to provincials was really fun. It was a lot bigger.”

IMG_9766Abby Martin
Level 6, Age 12
What do you think of your club, Kanata GymnoSphere?
“I love it here. It’s a really good gym. They care about you. And if you work hard, they’ll really help you get better. It’s great to have people that you know will be there for you.”

IMG_9763.jpgSandrine Dwivedi
Level 6, Age 12
G Uneven Bars
Is it helpful to have other gymnasts here at a similar level to you?
“Yes, we always encourage each other to try new things. We’re really good friends, and we understand each other. It’s a lot different than friends from school, because they actually know what you’re going through. We train hard every practice, but I think it’s worth it.”

IMG_9761.jpgCassidy Vrhovnik
Level 6, Age 12
How come you decided to pursue gymnastics at a high level?
“I find it really fun. It’s a different sport. A lot of people do hockey or something like that. I started when I was really young and I wanted to keep on going into competitive. I find it’s a really exciting sport.”

IMG_9758.jpgAngelina Polegato
Level 7, Age 9-10
What makes it worthwhile for you to come from Morrisburg to train in Kanata?
“It’s really fun, and I have really good coaches. We get to do a lot of really fun stuff and there is a lot of equipment you can just play on.”

IMG_9756.jpgFreya Cope
Level 7, Age 11
B Floor
B Uneven Bars
How do you like competing alongside your teammate Monica?
“One time, she was 1st and I was 2nd, so we held hands when we went to present. And the other time, I was 1st and she was 2nd, and another time, we tied. During every routine, I yell ‘C’mon Monica!’ really loud. And she does the same to me. She always supports me. I love her.”

IMG_9754Monica Borrello
Level 7, Age 11
B Vault
How much time do you and Freya spend together?
“We train together almost every day at the gym. And for provincials, we drove 9 hours together. We have sleepovers and we like telling jokes to each other. We have a lot of funny moments together.”

IMG_9751.jpgMadison Capretta
Level 8, Age 15
G All-Around
S Uneven Bars
What do you think of taking part in Easterns with Team Ontario?
“It’s a little bigger, and you’re competing as a team as well as competing by yourself. It’s exciting to have Grace with me too, to be able to see her and cheer each other on.”

IMG_9748Grace Kelly
Level 8, Age 14
B All-Around
S Uneven Bars
What was it like moving up 2 levels from last year?
“It was a big jump. My first few competitions were not my best, but I think I did a good job making up for that at provincials. I hit all my skills in my routines, so I was really happy.

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