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Gymnasts headed to national championships

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Dave Paul

A trio of young gymnasts represented the Bluewater Gymnastics Club, and Canada, against international competition over the weekend.

Amy Bladon, 14, Rachael Riley, 11 and Jovie Richardson, 10, along with Bluewater club coaches Dave and Liz Brubaker, attended Montreal’s Gymnix meet – an international event featuring over 800 athletes from a dozen countries.

It was the 25th anniversary of the Gymnix meet, an event that, in bygone days, used to precede the Bluewater International Invitational on the gymnastics competition calendar.

For Bluewater’s three youthful stars, it was the latest step in the development of their promising careers.

At a February meet in Halifax, Bladon, Riley and Richardson all qualified for the Canadian Championships being held in Edmonton in May.

Liz Brubaker said all three gymnasts made big strides at the Halifax meet.

“It was the first Elite Canada for Rachael and Jovie – the first time they had been involved in a two-day competition,” said Brubaker. “They were both a little nervous on the first day and they made a few mistakes.

“But the second day was different – like night and day,” added Brubaker, with Riley finishing 7th overall and Richardson 10th, easily putting them in the top-32 Novices who qualified for the nationals.

Bladon, meanwhile, competing at the Junior level, finished in the top-8 in two events – beam and vault – and easily advanced to the Canadian championships as one of the top-24 junior competitors at the meet.

This year promises to be a busy one for the Bluewater club.

In some years, there might be a bit of a summer lull following the national championships. But this is an Olympic year and Canada has already qualified a team for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

As National Team Director, Dave Brubaker will be at the forefront in both selecting and coaching the team that will represent Canada in Brazil in August.

And, the Bluewater club will host an Olympic training camp this summer, prior to the team’s departure.


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