Local athletes participate in Trampoline and Tumbling Ontario Cup

 

By Jonathan Martin

 

Amherstburg athletes have leaped up to the task of competing in the second Trampoline and Tumbling Ontario Cup.

More than 550 athletes from around the province ranging in age from nine to 18 converged on Winstars Gymnastic Training Centre from Jan. 29 to Jan. 31 hoping to qualify for the provincials.

Fifteen-year-old General Amherst High School student Mackenzie Bauer has been competing for more than half her life.

In the past, she has kept to artistic gymnastics. This is the first time Bauer has performed in a trampoline and tumbling competition.

Lauren Panek, 13, performs at the second Tumbling and Trampoline Ontario Cup at Winstars Gymnastics recently.

Lauren Panek, 13, performs at the second Tumbling and Trampoline Ontario Cup at Winstars Gymnastics recently.

“I have to land a rudi,” she said. “It’s a front flip with a 1 1/2 twist in it. I know I can land it, but I keep crashing. I don’t know why.”

Bauer said she finds being a gymnast is as much a mental challenge as it is physical.

“You can easily gain muscle, but if you’re scared of (the routine) you won’t do it,” she said.

Her personal struggle is with concentration. She said she finds it difficult to cut everything else out to focus on the task at hand.

“I have to remember to not get distracted,” she said. “I do that a lot. I zone out and then forget which skill I’m doing and I just kinda crash.”

Bauer hopes to tighten up her game within the next couple years to make the Canadian national team. Following that, she would like to study medicine on a scholarship.

Winstars tumbling coach Tracy Davies also kept up with gymnastics during her studies. At Seneca College, she received a diploma in advanced gymnastics coaching techniques. Before that, her athletics career took her to New Zealand, where she competed as a member of the Canadian Trampoline and Tumbling World Age Group.

Davies has been coaching at Winstars Gymnastics for more than 10 years. This is the first time the organization has hosted such a large tournament since it moved to the Central Park Athletics facility in 2013.

“There’s a bit of a learning experience as the event goes on,” said Davies. “A few things here and there we’ll change for next time, but for the most part I think it’s going fairly well.”

She said she is proud of all her athletes’ performances, who she approaches with a training regimen she said is firm but flexible.

“I try to get them to do what they need to do, but in a way that makes them appreciate what they’re doing,” she said.

Davies said she tries to emulate the qualities she admired in the coaches she trained under as an athlete.

Along with gymnasts from across the province, both Davies and Bauer look forward to seeing their training pay off in the provincial qualifier next month in Oshawa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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