Team GBK (Gymnastics Ballenas Kwalikum) sent four students to the high school gymnastics provincials in March with outstanding results.
In the level two category of 47 gymnasts, Tahnee Demtrioff (age 15 from Ballenas Secondary School) placed 24th on vault, fifth on bars, fourth on beam and eighth on floor to earn third place overall.
Reanne Sterckx (age 13 from Kwalikum) placed 10th on vault, seventh on bars, 10th on beam and 12th on floor for fourth overall.
Ginny Lefeaux (age 17 from Ballenas) placed 13th on vault, sixth on bars, 18th on beam and 28th on floor for 14th overall.
Ember Hayes (age 13 from Kwalikum) placed 12th on vault, 29th on bars, 9th on beam and 29th on floor with a 24th place overall finish.
“It has taken more work and dedication than most would understand,” said Coach Kayla Millicheap. “I had a lot of faith in their abilities, but never expected to make podium at provincials.”
“The competition on the mainland becomes tough, and you never really know what you are up against. For three of my four girls, this was their very first year competing, and only their third competition.”
“We train on a floor half the size of a traditional floor,” Millicheap said. “Our gym is small, but we make good use of it, and the girls proved that at provincials. I am beyond proud of their accomplishments.”
Team GBK was created last December by Millicheap and is comprised of seven local gymnasts. “Our team has only been possible with the dedication of the gymnasts, their parents and fundraising efforts everyone has put in,” she said.
“The girls train at Flipside Gymnastics in Parksville, but we do not have a competitive program in place.”
“The girls showed interest in competing last year and I said hey, if that’s what you want to do, we will make it happen.”
“A lot of what I do for this team is purely because of the coaches I once had and the love of the sport. It teaches you things that you cannot obtain from everyday life, but the lessons and skills you learn are those you will keep with you forever.”
Along with those who made it to provincials, the team includes gymnasts Megan Arkwright (13), Delaney Borden (13) and Tayah Campbell (13), “whom all did phenomenal at the provincial trials,” Millicheap said.
“Unfortunately there were only four available spots at provincials, but if we were allowed more, they would have all made it without a doubt.”
“We plan to grow our team and we already have a group of girls looking to compete with us next year. We are excited to bring competitive gymnastics back to this community. If you have ever thought about competitive gymnastics, now is a great time to come try it out!”
— Submitted by Team GBK