Gymnasts savour one chance at provincial success
AMHERST - Football, four downs - Baseball, three outs - Tennis, two serves - Gymnastics, one chance.
That was the T-shirt worn by gymnast Kyrsten Landry at the Aerials Gymnastic Club as she and her five teammates get set to take their one chance this weekend when they travel to Sydney to take part in the provincial gymnastics vhampionships.
There they will test their skills against gymnasts from throughout the province.
The six young athletes entering the meet have a total of 58 years of gymnastics experience under their belt and they all say gymnastics builds the toughest of athletes.
"People think we're little prissy things prancing around, but that's because we make it look easy," gymnast Samantha Landry said. "It takes a lot of work and strength to get to the point where you can make it looks easy."
The road to effortlessness can be a tough one.
"In basketball if you make a wrong move you lose a game or the other team gets a basket," gymnast Margaret Skabar said. "If you make a wrong move here you could land on your head."
And how does a gymnast compare to a hockey player?
The girls answered with rapid-fire quickness, finishing each other's sentence.
"Hockey players go back and forth and chase a black dot," Samantha said.
"Hockey players use the same kind of locomotion all the time," Skabar added.
"Gymnasts use their entire body through a wide range of motion," gymnast Lyndsay Butler finished by saying.
The Aerials Gymnastics Club caters to girls and boys of all ages and levels and as the girls grow up they often have to adapt to their new bodies.
"As their bodies change they have to try to keep up with the changes," coach Michelle Landry said. "And that often means having to re-learn different moves."
Despite their growth spurts, they say they will all be psyched up and ready to go.
Except for Kyrsten, who likes the bars, the rest of the girls like the beam but when they are asked what event they like to start with most of them say the vault.
"Vault is fast and you can just get it over with," Butler said. "And it really gets the adrenaline going."
No matter what event they enter they say it all comes down to confidence.
"If you get on the beam and say 'oh my god I'm going to fall off,' then you are going to fall off."
On the other hand you don't want to be too sure of yourself.
"If you're overconfident you will fall flat on your face," Samantha added.
The girls are going to do the best they can, so you can be sure they won't be falling on their face any time soon.