Surrey Gymnastic Society member Ayia Punzalan is recorded during a routine for a recent virtual competition. (submitted photo)

Surrey Gymnastic Society member Ayia Punzalan is recorded during a routine for a recent virtual competition. (submitted photo)


Surrey gymnasts leap to compete during pandemic with help of video camera

‘We’re finding a way to make it happen for the kids during a pretty difficult year,’ coach says

Young Surrey gymnasts are finding a way to compete during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Routines are being video-recorded for submission to judges in a series of competitions this year, including provincials.

It’s a system that local gymnastics groups will have to employ for the rest of the year, at least.

“We’re finding a way to make it happen for the kids during a pretty difficult year,” said Vanessa Medeiros, a competitive-stream coach with Surrey Gymnastics Society, which operates two facilities in Newton.

“We know for certain it will be like this, with videotaped routines, for the rest of this season, and there’s a hope to have some sort of in-person competitions by January or February next year,” Medeiros said.

At the club’s Frank Hurt facility, gymnasts are currently filming routines for provincial championships, with results expected in a week to 10 days.

“They give us one week, actually a bit less, to film all the routines, and then we submit those to the judges,” using a private YouTube channel, Medeiros explained.

There are some benefits about recording the routines, she said. 

“It’s probably less stressful (for the gymnasts), for sure, and it’s nice to be able to showcase their talents without the added stress, because they’re competing in our own facility,” Medeiros noted.

“We don’t have a huge program, so it’s under the 50-person limit when we gather here. It’s a nice opportunity for sportsmanship. Having athletes from different levels, and various groups, competing at the same time isn’t something that usually happens during competitions.”

Through it all, the club is still looking for a facility to replace its leased space at Frank Hurt.

• READ MORE: Surrey Gymnastic Society needs a new home

Members of Surrey Gymnastics Society recently competed virtually during the 2021 Twisters Invitational: “A Stream of Champions” event.

In the Junior Olympic Level 2 group, 11 young gymnasts “absolutely dominated the field,” according to Medeiros. “Ayia Punzalan, Dinea Usison and Silinna Lu all secured the all-around title in their age groups. Ayia and Dinea both scored over 9.9 (out of 10) on floor.”

Other highlights include 2nd all-around for Brianna Lopez and Angela Caloz, 1st on vault and 3rd all-around for Aaisha Maiwand, 2nd on vault and floor for Krysta Grenkow, 3rd on vault for Shriya Shah, 2nd on bars for Nia Gill, 4th on floor for Tegan Ziprick and 4th on beam for Makaylah Neidert.

There were many highlights in Junior Olympic level 7 age groups, Medeiros said. “Sofia Villamil, 12, finished 2nd on beam and 2nd all-around,” Medeiros said. “Teammate Kiana Carter earned a bronze medal on both vault and beam. In the youngest JO 7 age category, Isabeau Isaacson powered her way to a silver medal on vault. Teenaged teammates Anna Polunocheva and Melissa Piliotis finished 1st and 2nd on beam, respectively. In JO 6, Leila Carlsen finished first on vault and teammate Tania Mendez earned a silver medal on floor and a bronze medal on vault.”

In the JO 4 group, “Chloe Ostrosser achieved the top score on bars and the silver medal on beam in order to win the all-around age group title. Teammate Madeleine Gassien’s silver medal performances on beam and floor helped her secure the bronze medal all-around.”

Surrey Gymnastic Society boasts the only boys competitive program in Surrey, Medeiros noted. “The men’s team also competed at the Twisters Invitational. In MAG Provincial 1, strong showings by Krish Puri, Arnav Puri, and Valen Wickstead resulted in silver all-around.”

In MAG Provincial 3 (12 and under), Malakai Ostrosser medalled on floor, pommel horse, rings, and high bar on his way to 3rd place in the all-around. Tyler Cheng was 9th all-around.

In MAG Provincial 3 (13+), Jai Mehta won the bronze medal on floor and vault and finished 4th all-around. Teammate Paul Bashko finished 8th all-around in the competitive category.

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman crosses 176th Street in Cloverdale April 12, 2021. 176th will not host Cloverdale Market Days this year as the popular street fest is just the latest casualty in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Market Days cancelled again

Organizer says popular street fest will return in 2022

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Vintage scrapbooks gave way to Instagram and Facebook. (Photo: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis)
COLUMN: Prince Philip just got on with it—to our surprise

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis reflects on the passing Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Most Read