Colleen Kaminski has lofty goals for her boys at the Prince George Gymnastics Club.
The coach for the boys competitive club gymnasts would like all four athletes to earn medals in all six of their events when they compete at the 2013 B.C. Artistic Gymnastics championship, starting Friday at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre,
"I expect two of them to get gold on everything and in the all around," said Kaminski. "They've done that twice already this year."
They would be Lane Oke and Evan Weis. For the nine- and-10-year-old gymnasts, respectively, it will be their second time competing at the provincial championship. Kaminski's other two gymnasts are 10-year-olds Colbey Simunac and Tyler Strizich. Both Simunac and Strizich will be competing at their third provincial championship this weekend.
"I'm hoping Colbey will make his gold all around this time which he just missed by a little bit at the last competition," said Kaminski. "And we're hoping Tyler can get all of his skills performed this time and manage a silver in the all around."
There are six apparatus boys perform on in gymnastics - vault, rings, parallel bars, pommel horse, high bar and floor - while the all around combines the score on each event for a competitor.
All four of Kaminski's athletes are Level 1 gymnasts which is performance based, meaning if they hit all their skills in competition they'll receive either a gold, silver or bronze medal to correlate with their score. A score between 13.00 and 15.00 will earn a Level 1 athlete a gold.
Oke credited his coach for encouraging him in setting higher goals.
"She pushes us to the limit," he said.
Kaminski said the lithe gymnast has a body that allows him the ability to manipulate and move his body around to learn the skills better than some of the bigger boys.
"He's very bouncy," said Kaminski. "But he's really hard on himself a lot of times; you have to watch out for him and make sure he doesn't meltdown over something he's struggling with."
Oke said he's looking forward to performing in his hometown and he especially cannot wait to show off his parallel bars routine.
"You get to fly off the edge of the bar," said Oke about the dismount.
The Level 1 boys competition is slated for Sunday with warm-up at 8 a.m. and the competition scheduled until about 11 a.m., but, Kaminski said it may end earlier since there will only be about 21 competitors.
Kaminski said the plan is for each of her four boys to move up to Level 3 next year - the second level is a high-performance based system for gymnasts looking at going to an elite level. If the boys choose to they can return to Level 2 in the future after they've mastered the necessary skills.
Kaminski revived the boys gymnastics programs at the Prince George club about three years ago after it was dormant for several years. She said after raising two daughters who went through gymnastics it's a different experience working with boys.
"Coaching boys is sometimes challenging but sometimes even easier then girls," said Kaminski. "Boys are a little more rough and tumble so they'll take more risks and go for things whereas girls might be a little [timid]. Working with boys has been a new challenge in my life and just a source of amusement."
Initially the boys were just doing more recreation based gymnastics but when they started getting antsy for a more challenging program, Kaminski said they decided to move into the competitive stream. Now there are both recreation and competitive programs for boys in Prince George.
Kaminski moved into coaching after spending several years as a gymnastics judge in Port Coquitlam for 13 years before she moved to Prince George seven years ago. She said it's the best job in the world coaching boys.
"I get to go to work and play every day," she said.