She's gotta bounce: Off to the championships 0
Sixteen-year old St. Theresa's student Josée Gingras has always loved gymnastics but really found her niche in the sport in recent years through trampoline. She says, "I've always taken gymnastics and I love it, I don't even remember how old I was when I started because it's something I've always done, but I had to keep giving it up because my Achilles tendon kept getting pulled." Gingras tried to stay with gymnastics but when she injured the tendon a third time after sticking a tricky landing she knew she had to give up competing in floor events before it tore completely.
Her mother, Kathy Chamney- Gingras, suggested trampoline instead since the give of the surface and landing positions create much less stress on the tendon; Gingras started lessons in Grade 8 and hasn't looked back. "I tried recreational classes and at one class a provincial coach was there. I had been trying to teach myself a certain skill but he taught me the proper way to do it in about five minutes and then he asked me if I wanted to try out for the provincial team." Gingras joined the Level C squad and started competing at events across the province.
At her first provincial competition Gingras found that she was much more focused than she had been during training and she remembers coming off the trampoline and her coach asking her, "Where did that come from?" Gingras laughs, "He was so impressed with that and I had no idea where it came from." She ended up placing in the top ten out of a field of more than 20 competitors and was very encouraged to keep training and competing to try to move up to the provincial level B team.
Gingras says, "I placed third at the final Level C championships and in Grade 9 I moved up to Level B." Last year she was only able to compete twice because of a back sprain, an injury that continues to flare up occasionally, and she took nearly 6 months off to recuperate. This season she started training in September for what will be her last year; she says, "My back can't take it anymore and this will be my last competition." She's hoping to finish her trampoline career on top this May at the Eastern Canadian Gymnastics Championships and chances are she will; in Level B she placed first out of 56 girls at a provincial competition in February.
Her disappointment that she isn't able to continue to the Level A team next year, then move up to the national level is palpable but she's focusing on many other endeavours; she also loves swimming, has her bronze cross and will work toward her National Lifeguard Service designation next year. She has her Certified Level 1 gymnastics coaching designation and will get her Level 2 certification by the end of June so she can also teach inversions, flips and other skills on the trampoline. Although this will be her last year as a competitor she looks forward to training other gymnasts and has her eye on a career as a sports physiotherapist in the future. She says, "I've been to physiotherapy so much and I know a lot about sports injuries; human kinetics really interests me."
The 2012 Eastern Canadian Gymnastics Championships takes place in Quebec from May 11 to May 14.