Gymnastics a popular option for local athletes

The Sylvan Lake Gymnastics eight-week session ended earlier this month at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre.

On The Bars – Sylvan Lake Gymnastics head coach Karen Soehn assists Chloe McGill while she showcases her skills on the bars during the last class of gymnastics earlier this months at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre.

The Sylvan Lake Gymnastics eight-week session ended earlier this month at the Sylvan Lake Community Centre.

During their training the young athletes learned different gymnastic moves on various equipment that was set up.

Children ages 6-11 showed their parents what they had learned on the routine equipment.

The children thoroughly enjoyed showcasing their skills and it appeared the parents were very proud of what they saw.

During the sessions the children learned basic gymnastic skills like cartwheels, and roles. They also worked to improve their strength and learned how to move in patterns.

In order to be good at gymnastics head coach Karen Soehn said the children always need more training and practice as it is a very complex sport.

“You have to swing, be strong and balance all at the same time,” Soehn said.

She said during the eight-week session most of the children improved and had fun.

“It’s activity based so we try to keep them moving,” she said.

The trampoline seems to be the favourite piece of equipment for the children to practice on.

Soehn said the children do like the bars as well, but said they are a hard skill because it requires strength.

Even though the bars require the children to be strong, they still loved trying to swing on them during their last session.

The children involved in these gymnastics say it is fun and this is exactly what Soehn aims to make it.

Gymnastics is more than just a fun activity to do. Soehn said it is a foundation sport that can lead to other sports.

“It gives you strength, flexibility and agility,” Soehn said. “It’s a good sport to do to enhance any other activity or sport.”

Over the years the gymnastics sessions have attracted a large volume of local athletes.

With the economic times the program hasn’t seen as many children, but Soehn said when the Olympics start, more children will be interested in doing gymnastics.

It isn’t hard to tell which children are involved with other sports. Soehn said she could usually tell.

“They are usually the ones that are more go getters,” she said. “They want to get in there and do stuff right away.”

As head coach Soehn likes seeing the children improve on their skills and become better athletes.

She likes seeing them happy and hearing them have fun while learning or improving upon a skill.

“You see them being happy and hearing them say ‘oh this is the best day ever’. You have a kid who finally gets something and they are happy about it,” Soehn said.


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