Ainslee Arthurs is returning home to Revelstoke after being the first local acrobat in more than a decade to compete at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships in Ottawa last week.
Arthurs, a grade 12 student at Revelstoke Secondary School, finished 22nd out of 47 athletes in her category in the trampoline event.
“My goal was just getting here so I’m really happy with it,” she said after her competition.
With her parents watching, Arthurs scored 34.95 for her first routine and 42.325 for her second routine for a total score of 76.915.
“Her first routine was a bit off but her second optional routine was great,” wrote coach Jef Kline in an e-mail. “For this meet she added a lot of difficulty (harder moves) and scored really well.”
Arthurs is the first member of the Revelstoke Acrobats to qualify for nationals in more than a decade.
“It was really nerve-wracking at first,” she said. “I was the first acrobat from Revelstoke that’s been in over 10 years so I didn’t have anyone to look up to. My coach and team were all really supportive so it was easy and a lot of fun.”
She said her parents presence in Ottawa helped. “They just wanted me to have fun and do my best. It made it a lot easier and a better experience.”
Arthurs success comes a few years after breaking her ankle — an injury that caused some to wonder if she would ever compete again. She missed two seasons of competition before returning to the trampoline in February 2013.
“Coming back was hard physically but mostly mental as well. I was scared,” she said. “It took a lot of hard work. Once I started going, I kept having goals and little things to push forward to.”
She said the first competition back was the hardest because she felt she had to prove herself again.
“Once I did that it was easier and it kept the determination going,” she said. “It took a lot of hard work but it was well worth it.”
She said she trained 2.5 hours per day, three days a week, to get ready for nationals.
Kline said he was proud of the way she worked hard after her injury and that she was a pleasure to coach.
“Her positive attitude and commitment to excelling and progressing has made her a great role model for the other kids in the club,” he wrote.
For Arthurs, the nationals might have been her last gymnastics meet ever. Next year she is attending the University of Victoria, which doesn’t have a trampoline team.
“This might be my last meet ever which makes it really hard and I’m sad about it,” she said. “I don’t know if I’m ready to give it up. I’ll have to see what happens.”