Ten members of Delta Gymnastics have qualified to represent Team B.C. at the upcoming Western Canadian Championships.
Comprised of gymnasts from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, the Western Canadian Championships, being held in Saskatoon from April 25 to 28, help to recognize and prepare athletes for future high-level competitions.
“It is a great honour to compete for your province and it gives the gymnast opportunities to build relationships with other coaches and club members throughout B.C.,” said Jennifer Dober, Delta Gymnastics women’s program coordinator. “For some, this is their first chance to compete as a member of Team B.C. and one of their highest levels of performance in their competitive careers.”
The Delta men’s group features Russell Woodward, 12, who will be travelling to Westerns for his fourth time, and Lucas Liu, 13, on his third trip.
“Competing with my friends is great,” says Woodward. “It is always good to train with new people, to learn new skills and to push yourself harder.”
Both Woodward and Liu will be competing in the Elite 4 category.
First-time gymnasts at the competition include Hunter Woodhead, 14, competing in the Elite 4 category, and Alexander Shilvock, 13, competing in the Team 2 Provincial 4 category.
Two of Delta’s female gymnasts will be returning for their third time: Ava Groves, 16, will be competing in the JO9 category and Astarte Garnett, 14, will be in the JO10 category.
“Being a part of Team B.C. is exciting and watching other members compete helps me with my training and the goals I have for myself,” says Groves.
Travelling to Westerns for the second time is Makenzie Grant, 12, who will be competing in the J09 category. First-time gymnasts include Lila Bulka, 12, and McKenna Kirkpatrick, 12, both competing in JO8 category, and Carolina Hoolsema, 9, competing in the Aspire 1 category.
Three coaches from Delta Gymnastics, Jennifer Dober, Kristina Sharp and Shu Jun Gao, were named Team B.C. coaches.
“As coaches, Westerns is a great opportunity to see up and coming athletes, and it allows us to network with peers across Canada and continue to develop professionally,” says Dober.