Gymnast qualifies for Atlantic Championships
Hayley Crosbie of Bay Roberts is one of six gymnasts from the province to qualify for the 2011 Atlantic Championships, being held April 29 to May 1 in Moncton, N.B.
Crosbie claimed the overall gold at the winter provincial championships March 2526 in St. John’s in the Level 1 tyro division by winning gold medals for floor routine, vault, and a bronze in the uneven bars. Her Mount Pearl-based Campia Gymnastics also claimed the team gold. There were 14 young gymnasts competing in the Level 1 Tyro division.
The overall gold was a repeat performance for Crosbie, who earned the same honours at her previous two meets this year.
Crosbie has been in gymnastics for two years, and loves to compete.
“It’s really fun,” she said. “ The coaches are really nice too.”
Following in the footsteps of her dad, Chris, a forward with the Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars ( her homeroom teacher is his teammate Keith Delaney), Hayley gave hockey a try, but has since found her niche with gymnastics. Her mother, Danita Crosbie, thinks she inherited her dad’s competitive streak.
“ She’s always been really athletic and really into sports,” said her mother.
Training in Mount Pearl is not easy for the family. While most other members of the Campia club train 16 hours a week, Hayley is only able to manage eight hours because of the travel involved with getting to-and-from St. John’s for four-hour practices.
“ We try to do three (days), but that doesn’t happen a lot,” said Danita. Hayley is able to practice in her spare time on a practice balance beam setup at home.
Gymnastics requires a great deal of strength considering the feats gymnasts must complete. In the uneven bars, Hayley has to be able to jump to one bar, twirl her body on it and then swing and jump between the two bars. The vault involves running towards a springboard that allows a gymnast to spring off the vault with their hands and eventually land on their feet.
Hayley’s personal favourite is the floor routine, which involves completing a variety of jumps and tumbles in a rhythmic fashion. She is especially fond of the dance aspect of competing in the floor event. Her work here perhaps benefits from three years of dance training.
The long-and-narrow balance beam represents her greatest challenge in gymnastics, as staying on the beam without falling can be tricky.
“My balance isn’t really that good on it,” Hayley said, using her hands to give a visual representation of its 10-centimetre width. “On my dismount I have to jump and do a back-tuck, and I was afraid my first time I was going to jump too high and hit my head. But I did it after, and it wasn’t that scary.”
Hayley had a hard time with the balance beam at the winter provincial championships, falling twice in competition. However, she did not let it bother her.
“A lot of other kids are crying, and they’re upset, and (Hayley) is high-fiving her other teammates because they did well and moving on to the next thing,” said Danita.
Hayley’s stays calm by putting things in perspective.
“If I fall on something, I just say I’m not going to let that ruin my day. I just want to have fun.”
Michelle Soucy coaches Hayley for Campia Gymnastics.
“ She’s a really strong competitor,” said • Age — 11 • Family — parents Chris and Danita, sister Amy, and brother Nicholas • Education — Grade 6, Amalgamated Academy • Favourite non-gymnastics sport — volleyball • Favourite school subject — physical education • Favourite food — fruits • Favourite song — “Fireworks” by Katy Perry • Favourite place to visit — Florida • Favourite TV show — Sweet Life on Deck • Life ambition — gold medal gymnast Soucy. “ She’s able to focus during stressful competitions. She’s extremely talented.”
At this stage of Hayley’s development, the coach said that strength-building and executing the basics are the key areas of focus.
“Gymnastics requires strength from head to toe,” Soucy explained.
Along with having the necessary skills to compete, gymnastics requires a lot of mental discipline. To stay mentally tough, Hayley said confidence plays a big part.
Hayley hopes to be able to attend practices more often in the weeks leading up to her trip to New Brunswick.
“She’s going to be fighting to stay longer,” laughed her mom. “And her coach is fighting for her to stay longer. It’s hard though, because she’s in Grade 6, so she has lots of tests now, and she’s tired in the morning.”
Hayley’s coach applauds the effort made by Hayley’s family to help her train.
“It’s a lot of time after a full day of school to drive in, train for four hours, and then drive home. It’s dedication on her part and her parents.”
Aside from her gymnastics and school responsibilities, Hayley takes piano lessons.
The experience of Atlantics will be a unique one for Hayley, and not only because it’s her first time competing outside of Newfoundland and Labrador. Members of the provincial squad have to travel, sleep, and eat as a team. Her family, who will be travelling to cheer Hayley on, have to stay in a separate hotel.
“ We’re as proud as we possibly could be,” said Danita.
Hayley Crosbie won four gold and a bronze at the winter provincial championships in gymnastics last month, and will now travel with the provincial team to the Atlantic Championships in Moncton, N.B.