Tumbling team tackles provincials with a different look
by Randy Pascal
As the Provincial Championships closed the books on the 2016-2017 season of Trampoline and Tumbling in Barrie last month, it would be a vastly different
looking team that would be on hand, representing the GymZone Sudbury Laurels.
For starters, there was the re-appearance of 15 year old Halley Baker, back in competition and taking part in both the tumbling and trampoline
events. The grade nine student at Confederation Secondary School had stepped away from the sport, for a stint, after a series of injuries forced her
to miss the 2016 provincials.
“I quit in September, I just wasn’t enjoying it any more,” said Baker. And as is sometimes the case, the absence is just what was needed to determine if
the necessary commitment to tackle the demanding regimen of training still remained.
“I realized that I should try it again, that I still had a passion for it,” she said. “Before I left, I don’t think I ever put in completely 100% effort.
But now, I thought if I’m coming back, I’m coming back with all that I’ve got.”
Not that her return in January was without apprehension. “It was stressful coming back, because everybody else was already starting to prep for
competitions, starting to learn their routines. I was way out of shape, my form was off, my technique was wrong.”
Thankfully, Baker turned the corner quickly. “My skills came back much quicker than when I first got them,” she said. “It took me about a month and a
half to do a full routine. Once I got the full routine, it started coming back pretty quickly.” Baker took fifth place in Level 2 – 15+ tumbling and 9th in
the trampoline (Level 3 – 15+) at provincials.
Connor MacDonald was already a fairly accomplished young gymnast in the men’s artistic circuit when he decided to change directions last fall,
opting to compete in tumbling this year. His efforts paid off nicely at provincials, where the grade 7 student at Félix Ricard earned silver in
Level 2, and will now eye a jump to Level 4 for the fall.
“I focused on getting really tight routines,” explained the well-spoken 12 year old. “I wanted nice tight passes, as straight as I can be. Sometimes my
knees will be bent, coming out of my whip or my round-off, and you want to focus on straight knees.”
Still dealing with some nagging soreness, MacDonald is looking forward to a little rest this summer before getting right back into the swing of things
for next year. “I want to work on healing over the summer, get my knee strong,” he said. “Next year, I have three more skills to add to my pass. I’m
excited for that.”
Rounding out the local results were Emilie Lefebvre (5th place – Level 2 – 12 and under) and Bailey Jackson (6th place – Level 2 – 15+),
both in the tumbling competition.