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Rhythmic gymnasts face first challenge

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Vicki Stinson and her team hope to have a ball this weekend—but a ribbon or a rope will do just as well.

The 18-year-old coach of the local rhythmic gymnastics team will travel to Winnipeg with her trio of performers in their season-debut at the Rhythmic Royals Invitational.

“The training has gone really well and they’re all working really hard,” Stinson said of her three-member squad that includes her sister, Kerri, 14, Laura Richardson, 11, and Sydney Gillon, eight.

“They’re far ahead of schedule with where they should be at this point,” she added.

Kerri Stinson will compete in the ball and rope events, while Richardson and Gillon will participate in the freestyle competition.

Stinson likes how each of her athletes is different from the others when it comes to the strongest part of their overall performance.

“For Kerri, it’s her dance ability and her jumps that really come through,” Stinson remarked. “Laura’s got terrific poise, and Sydney has tons of energy and enthusiasm.”

All three, who have achieved provincial certification in their respective age groups, will be participating in their first actual competition—something that Kerri Stinson knows will cause some butterflies to take up shop in their stomachs.

“We’ll be kind of nervous,” she admitted, then added with a laugh, “I guess I’ll have to take my extra energy out on Vicki.”

Coach Stinson will be counting on her sibling to provide leadership for the younger participants, and stressed that winning in Winnipeg isn’t the important thing.

“Our expectations are to go there to see what other girls in our area are doing and how we can improve,” she said.

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