Learning part of the fun for gymnasts

Springers Gymnastics Adventure kids always looking to get better

Kiana Ralph shows off some tricks she can do on the uneven bars

Kiana Ralph shows off some tricks she can do on the uneven bars

They’re goofy and some are even a little crazy.

Games of pig in the middle and dodge ball are part of the warm-ups for competitive members of Springers Gymnastics Adventures. Coach Manuela Stegmann eventually cracks the whip on them to start running 20 laps on a rectangular mat, where they work on their skills.

While the group does like to have fun, and Stegmann allows it, they are also serious when it comes to learning the tricks of their sport.  They want to be their best when it comes time to travel to competitions.

“It was good. Really fun and I like the coaches. They are really nice and they let you try to do stuff,” said Katie Henderson, who earned silver medals in vault, bars, beam and floor events this season.

Henderson said, “I’m just happy I tried my best,” in their competitions held in Nelson and Vancouver.

During the season the gymnasts work on various techniques. Henderson now successfully performs a round out backhand spring and is currently trying to perfect an uprise.

The competitive season for the group started in September and concludes this week.

At the two competitions the club attended, Stegmann said the performances were strong.

“Everybody had so much fun and everybody placed very well,” said Stegmann. “It was encouraging.”

Adina Ralph enjoyed the season and learned how to do a round off back tuck, and uprisings.

“I’m still learning how do to do a kip,” she said. “On the (uneven) bars, you swing, put your feet on the bars and you swing back down, and curl up on your hips.”

Ralph won three gold medals (bars, floor and beam) and one silver medal in the vault event this season. Ralph has been in gymnastics for 10 years and the 12-year-old loves it because she’s able to be very active.

Darleen Stegmann, 11, also enjoyed the season but simply likes being with her friends. One skill she has spent the season working on and still attempting to master is a front and back walk over.

Just because it is the last week, doesn’t mean anyone is taking it easy. The gymnasts are eager to learn more and improve.

Stegmann said the kids will work on new skills and do fun activities.

“They learn lots of things, it’s a full body workout all the time,” said Stegmann, who will haves summer camps and prepare kids for the Peach Festival parade.