Ketchikan Gymnastics Club
Hosts Annual Exhibition
By Marie L. Monyak
May 07, 2006
Ketchikan, Alaska - The Ketchikan Gymnastics Club (KGC) held
their 2006 Gym Show and Award Ceremony last week on Tuesday,
Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The KGC is a non-profit organization
governed by a board of directors and managed by Head Coach Rhiann
Golder with the help of assistant coaches Aliyah Pipal, Alison
Kelly, Calli Olmstead and Kim Cole.
The annual Gym Show provides an opportunity for the student athletes
to show off their progress and accomplishments for parents, family
and friends prior to receiving their medals and certificates
Beginner and Intermediate
Classes of the Ketchikan Gymnastics Club received their medals
and certificates of achievement at Thursday's Gym Show.
Photograph by Marie L. Monyak ©2006
The beginner and intermediate classes of 3 through 10 year olds
held their Gym Show on Thursday evening. Charming, adorable and
precious are the words that come to mind while watching these
young athletes exhibit their skills. The audience was so captivated
and enamored by these young performers that many commented that
their faces actually hurt from smiling for so long!
The 3 year old through preschool age group, clad in their colorful
leotards followed one another single file across the floor performing
their routine of forward and backward rolls, cautiously walking
the balance beam and even attempting one complete revolution
on the parallel bar with assistance from the coaches whenever
a student discovered that gravity was preventing their much heavier
bottoms from completing the turn.
The audience was hushed as though watching world class athletes
performing in the Olympics when one gymnast who appeared to be
about 3 years old broke the silence as she completed her turn
on the balance beam and shouted into the audience, "I did
it Mommy!" to the laughter and delight of all those present.
Not to be outdone, another gymnast stopped in mid-routine, looked
into the audience and asked, "Got your camera Dad?"
The pure innocence of these young stars endeared them to everyone
The next group to perform was Kindergarten through 10 years of
age. A bit more advanced, they performed the same forward and
backward rolls but added handstands and cartwheels to their act
along with floor routines. Obviously a tad more self-conscious,
the athletes tugged at their leotards, brushed hair from their
faces and nervously darted glances at their parents seeking the
encouragement they needed to perform publicly. As each student
ended their routine they quickly ran from center stage, obviously
relieved to be out of the limelight.
Allowing the young groups time for a break, the more experienced
Pre-Team and Team Groups entertained the audience with their
floor routines and more advanced skills on the uneven parallel
bars. Since graduating from beginner and intermediate classes,
these gymnasts exhibited more confidence and resolve in their
demeanor as they performed. Even mistakes were applauded providing
the inspiration needed for the athletes to complete their routines
and feel satisfaction at performing under pressure.
Ending the evening's Gym Show, the Beginner and Intermediate
students were called individually to center stage. With faces
beaming with satisfaction equal to their parent's look of pride,
the blossoming athletes climbed to the top level of the award
stage to receive their medals and certificates of achievement
to a rousing applause.
Gymnastics has long been considered an excellent means for young
children to develop body flexibility, coordination, balance and
rhythm as well as good sportsmanship. The KGC has been training
young athletes for over 20 years and has had its share of accomplishments.
Two members of KGC, along with Head Coach Rhiann Golder represented
the State of Alaska at the 2006 Arctic Winter Games held in Kenai.
The Arctic Winter games are a truly northern circumpolar event
as participants must be from countries that are situated above
the Arctic Circle. Norway, Finland, Yukon Territory and several
provinces in Russia as well as Alaska, are just a few of the
member countries or regions.
Kelsey Hodges, 10 years of age and Sara Carey, 11 years of age,
represented not only Alaska but our very own Ketchikan at the
Arctic Games. Hodges placed third on the Balance Beam while Carey
placed fourth in Vault. Also, just this past April KGC member
Emily Kelly, now 15 years of age, placed seventh on the Balance
Beam at the 2006 Regional Championship Event held in Boise, Idaho.
All three of these gymnasts are local celebrities and proof of
what can be accomplished with training and determination along
with the help of the Ketchikan Gymnastics Club.
On Thursday evening, even the least experienced gymnast was a
celebrity in their parents' eyes!
For information about the Ketchikan Gymnastics Club, please call
On the Web:
Marie L. Monyak is
a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Information about the 2006
Arctic Winter Games
A freelance writer is an uncommitted independent writer
from whom a publisher, such as SitNews, can order articles/photographs
for a fee.
are required for articles and/or photographs. Contact Marie at
for costs and republication permission.
All Rights Reserved. ©2006
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