Three members of the Prince Albert Aerials Gymnastics Club are bouncing with delight after being named to Team Saskatchewan for the trampoline and tumbling disciplines.
Brent Ertman, Connor Pritchard and Taylor Strauss recently secured spots on the high performance team after attending a tryout camp in Regina.
It is the second straight year that the trio have made the squad and local coach Brittany Macfie says it is quite an accomplishment since the team consists of just 12 athletes from across the province.
“They have to be at Level 3 and up and reach a certain degree of difficulty,” says Macfie. “They will now go to different meets and represent Saskatchewan at out-of-province events.”
The local group got a taste of some advanced training on the weekend when the provincial team worked out at the High Noon Optimist Centre in Prince Albert with Denis Vachon, the national trampoline and tumbling coach from Hamilton, Ont., who was in the city for a couple of days.
“I’m just here to provide some inspiration,” explained Vachon. “I’m very privileged coming from a bigger province where there is more competition and I just want to boost their confidence and show them what’s capable out there.”
“I was here two years ago and the skill level is much stronger,” added Vachon. “There is a lot of turnover, but it is nice to see the coaches turning out great athletes.”
The provincial high performance coach for trampoline and tumbling, Jamie Schafer, was also at the weekend training session and she said the Prince Albert athletes earned their way on the team and now they have to work just as hard to live up to the expectations.
“I expect them to attend all camps and go back to their local gyms and work with their coaches and improve their skill level and execution,” says Schafer.
Trampoline and tumbling is a sport that is gaining more exposure and when Rosie MacLennan won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in London last summer, the sport jumped to another level.
Ertman, Pritchard and Strauss are hoping to continue to improve their skills and making Team Saskatchewan is a huge first step. With the success the Aerials Gymnastics Club has had in other disciplines, trampoline and tumbling is fast becoming another cornerstone of one of the top clubs in the province.