Sport is awesome. And the community that makes sport happen is also awesome. We see it, and we hope that everyone else sees it too.
It takes a lot to put on a gymnastics competition and the gymnastics community on Vancouver Island, and beyond, do an amazing job of it. This weekend the Garden City Invitational saw its 36th year. Congratulations to the incredible team of volunteers and supporters who made it all possible. We spoke with the chair of the event advisory, Tracy Nguyen, and she told us she was very happy with how the weekend went, “I’m very thankful for the team effort by parents and volunteers. It’s a large undertaking.”
Frances, who does the MC’ing, told us that the event is the biggest gymnastics event on the island, with teams coming from as far away as Edmonton, Alberta, and Washington state.
Mya Kendler (below) was there to support her older sister Ella who is in her fifth year of competitive gymnastics. Mya is also into gymnastics and has been helping to set up the gym and haul gear, “We were here for several hours last night, it was a long time, and we moved a lot of heavy equipment.”
Mya’s mother, Heather, told us that having a sports family is worth it, but takes a lot of planning. “Mya did a lot of heavy lifting last night,” said Heather. “She lifted more gear than I did!”
We met so many people on the weekend – more than we can mention. But here’s a few people who are in the community and who we are inspired by and who we want to thank for being supporters of gymnastics!
Frances Sasvari, Master of Ceremony.
Mya (left), with Heather Kendler, at the Garden City Invitational 2018 to cheer on her sister Ella who has been competing for five years.
Geoffrey Shera has kids who are gymnasts and he also works at motusdesign.ca which is also a sponsor of the event! Geoffrey volunteers to film the non-compulsory beam and floor routines to help the athletes review their form and also for future reference by other athletes.
Chloe is five (pictured on the right) and is cheering on her sister Sophia (10) with her mother Aline.
Mark Hutcheson is the cheerleader and father of Jessie who has been doing gymnastics for six years. He also volunteers as the onsite food coordinator for the judges and coaches. “When you’re a family of athletes, logistics is everything.”
Morgan Rozon is the owner of Fitbalm. She is also a certified CrossFit trainer and a long time gymnast! “I was a gymnast at Falcon over ten years ago. I have some medals and stuff. [laughs] I love the sense of community around gymnastics. It’s very similar to CrossFit in this sense. Plus, CrossFit incorporates components of gymnastics into the training.”
“We have two young athletes in our family. I’m the driver and handler [laughs].” Kelly Shera is also the awards coordinator and more. Thanks for everything you do Kelly!
Stephanie Havers has been coaching gymnastics for ten years. She was also a competitive gymnast at Falcon Gymnastics for six years, back in the day.
Ella and Susanne are from Nanaimo and have been coming to the Garden City Invitational for four years. “It’s a great event. I love coming and it’s inclusive and we love the garden theme!”
Sandy Wilson is the genius behind Arbutus Physiotherapy and she’s a believer in supporting young athletes. Dr. Mike Gotuaco is a Chiropractor and CrossFit lover who admires gymnastics: “there’s a lot I can learn, in terms of my own movement and athletic pursuits, from these young athletes. This invitational meet is incredible.”