The Woolwich Gymnastics Club is making a bid to send gymnasts to the provincial championships for the first time this year.
Jennifer Brubacher and Robin Porter, both 12, are busy training for the provincial qualifiers.
The two girls competed in their first qualifying meet in Georgetown earlier this month, finishing in the middle of the pack of 17 gymnasts. Brubacher placed eighth overall, while Porter finished 13th, with a first-place finish in vault.
There are two more qualifying meets to go: Jan. 30 in Guelph, and Feb. 12 at Base Borden. The provincial meet will be held in late March or early April.
Both girls, students at Park Manor School in Elmira, have been doing gymnastics since they were two years old.
“When we were younger it was just to get us out of the house because we had a lot of energy,” Porter said.
They had to be coaxed into doing the qualifiers and training for the provincials.
“At first it was like, oh no, we’re not ready,” Brubacher said. “As we started to train, it was like, ‘yeah, we can do this.’”
They spend about eight or nine hours each week at the gym, working on the four events for the qualifiers: beam, vault, uneven bars and floor. Porter’s preferred event is vault, while Brubacher likes floor.
The qualifiers offer some stiff competition, because many of the other girls train 15 to 20 hours a week.
“They train at least double what we train,” Porter said.
Coach Charlotte Foell said co-coach David Schilling has done a “tremendous job” preparing them and keeping things relaxed.
“There’s no pressure on them,” Foell said. “We just want them to go out, gain the experience and see how well they can do.”