Gymnaestrada a hit with kids

Fitkidz’ 2011 BC Gymnaestrada was popular with its young participants last weekend.

Head coach Annette Card of Fitkidz Gymnastics watches as her student Annie Dora Perrier falls from the mat during the movie stunts segment of the 2011 Gymnestrada event at the Penticton Adidas Sportsplex recently. In the background waiting her turn is Ella Simmons of Fitkidz.

Head coach Annette Card of Fitkidz Gymnastics watches as her student Annie Dora Perrier falls from the mat during the movie stunts segment of the 2011 Gymnestrada event at the Penticton Adidas Sportsplex recently. In the background waiting her turn is Ella Simmons of Fitkidz.

Fitkidz’ 2011 BC Gymnaestrada was popular with its young participants last weekend.

Kids such as Camille Hayter and McKenna Clarke loved that they were able to try new activities. Hayter also enjoyed being with her friends in a stress-free environment.

“It’s not like a competition,” said Hayter, participating in her first one. “There is no stress of winning awards.”

Hayter said the activities were good because it’s not something they always do. Participating in workshops allowed the gymnasts to learn. Hayter now knows how to fall on her back.

“I liked the stunt session,” she said.

Mike Ching, a coach from Ladner, instructed the stunt workshop and felt the gymnasts did well. He said that in performing stunts, a lot of gymnastics skills are used to perform things such as dive rolls, front three quarters and shoulder rolls.

“It’s about teaching them how to fall safely,” he said.

Clarke, 10, another member of Fitkidz, said it was a good experience.

Her favourite was doing movie stunts, which included flips.

“You don’t have to be perfect,” said Clarke. “You can just go crazy. I really enjoyed the fact we get freedom to do what we want.”

Bre Erickson an instructor with the Kamloops Gymnastics and Trampoline Club said the Gymnaestrada is important for her club because it’s their end of the year performance.

“The goal coming in is having fun,” said Erickson, who works with advanced recreation students. “For some its their first time.”

As for the job done by Penticton having the event in the Adidas Sportsplex, Erickson said the Fitkidz Club did well.

“The facility is perfect,” she said.

The Gymnaestrada was composed of six different workshops with performances following. Each club rotated through the workshops.

Annette Card, head instructor at Fitkidz who organized the event, felt the weekend was successful.

“It just flows and you stay active the whole time,” said Card, who thanked all the sponsors for their support.

One thing that Card noticed is that the caliber of skill was higher on Saturday then Sunday.

“We had a good combination of workshops,” said Card, adding that the club benefited from good exposure.

Among the popular ones were Glee, Movie Stunts and kids liked the Wipeout Games.

In total, 400 athletes from 20 clubs in B.C. participated in the celebration of the sport.