The weekend marked the resurrection of the National Stream Cup (NSC), which is a competition that showcases the talents of gymnasts from across Canada, ranging from 7 to 18 years old.
Ortona Gymnastics Club hosted the competition and the NSC has been brought back to life after being under the radar for the last 10 years or so.
Although I was unable to attend the competition itself, I got the opportunity to sit down with Camille Parker, a 17-year-old Ortona athlete, who gave me the scoop on what competitive gymnastics is all about.
“You have to be confident in what you’re doing in order to succeed,” Camille said, when asked about what keeps her on track.
Camille has been with Ortona for 6 years, but she has been doing gymnastics for almost 11 years now. After starting off with traditional tumbling and trampoline, Camille decided to take up artistic gymnastics when she was 9, which consists of the vault, bars, balance beam and floor events. Her drive to become a competitive gymnast started when she was younger, as she was always looking up to the older athletes as role models, which gave her motivation to succeed.
Since gymnastics is a very physically demanding sport, I wanted to find out what the time commitment is like for competitive gymnasts in order for them to stay on top of their routines and remain in shape for showcases like NSC,
“I train 25 hours a week, so 5 days for five hours,” Camille said. “I go to school for half-days and we get the weekends off so I get to see my friends then.”
Her spirit and optimism towards such an extensive time commitment is a clear indication that gymnastics is truly Camille’s passion.
“I like showing off for the crowd,” Camille said about her favorite part of competing. “It’s really fun when you know everyone is watching you.”
Camille shared some words of wisdom with me for any young girls interested in getting into gymnastics,
“Anyone can do it. If you just set your goals and stay dedicated to what you do, you’ll accomplish anything,” she said.
Jill Scrambler, a competitive coach at Ortona, also provided me with a few pointers,
“You need to be a strong-minded girl to be able to compete and to be able to deal with the hours and the competitiveness,” Jill said. “You’re working towards perfection. You’re the only one in the event so it takes a lot of confidence.”
Basically, gymnastics requires much more than just a pretty face. The time commitment is intense and the training is just as adamant. My visit to the Saville Center gave me the opportunity to really get a feel for what goes on in the gymnastics world.
I strongly encourage young women to sign up for recreational gymnastics in a club in the area. This sport is definitely a way to let out energy, get in shape, and develop a sense of confidence that makes you feel on top of the world.
A huge congratulation goes out to Camille for placing 9th in the National Open Event Finals!