KENSINGTON – Athletes flocked to Kensington Intermediate-Senior High School on Saturday to show off their gravity-defying moves for the P.E.I. School Athletic Association provincial gymnastics championships.
From splits in mid-air to aerial manoeuvres and agile jumps, more than 360 gymnasts from across Prince Edward Island put on a show of human strength before an enthusiastic crowd during the day-long event.
“(Saturday) is a floor exercise and two vaults; a hand string, flat back and spring vault,” explained Paul Goguen, PEISAA gymnastics commissioner. “In the routine they have to have a peak skill, six non-difficult skills and two difficult skills that have a lot of flexibility, like a split because they are harder to do. This is what we are looking out for, and we judge on how well they put their routine together, the artistry and flow.”
Goguen added the boys’ routine is different from the girls.
“(Boys) don’t have to do the dance part,” added Goguen. “They just do the skills and that’s it.”
Athletes and schools also competed for team awards. Teams consisted of seven members, and points from the best five vaults and five floor routines were added up to determine the winners.
“My favourite move is the aerial, which is a cart-wheel without hands,” said 10-year-old competitor Bridget Gaudet.
Bridget Gaudet, 10, competes in the P.E.I. School Athletic Association provincial gymnastics championships at Kensington Intermediate-Senior High School on Saturday.
Gymnasts were separated into three categories to compete, which included pre-novice boys and girls in Grades 3 and 4, novice boys and girls in Grades 5 and 6, and bantam, intermediate boys and girls, and seniors.
“They are all outstanding,” said Goguen. “For some gymnasts this is their first event, and they have been waiting so long to get into Grade 3 to finally participate.”
Goguen noted organizers are pleased to have welcomed Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL) as the title sponsor of the event.
“We never had a sponsor before, and it helps out a lot financially for the meet,” he concluded.