No one can say they’ve trained for something their entire life. But rhythmic gymnast Jaedyn Andreotti cuts it pretty close.
It all started in Grade 1, when Camille Martens, now Andreotti’s coach, held a performance at her school. Andreotti was entertained, and thought she would try the sport.
Seven years later, now a Grade 9 VSS student, Andreotti is an award-winning gymnast.
Last February, Andreotti walked accross the Kelowna Rotary Centre for the Arts’ stage after appetizers, a mini presentation and speeches to accept the 2017 Community Sports Hero Award.
“It was cool. I had never gotten an award like that,” she said.
The awards, recognizing contributions of community sport volunteers, were presented by Kelowna mayor Colin Basran, with Olympic volleyball star Brittney Page of Vernon as keynote speaker.
“Her character, her results and her desire to give back are reasons she was chosen to be honoured by this award,” said Martens.
“Jaedyn has risen to the top of our sport in our province and in our country. She is an involved member of the Okanagan team here in Vernon, and does an outstanding job as a junior coach as well as a team leader.”
Andreotti, who believes her biggest strength is her flexibility, plans to continue competing and build on her recent success.
“My main goal right now would be to represent Canada at the World Championships.”
The 2017 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships will be held from Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 in Pesaro, Italy, where Andreotti competed in the 2016 junior tournament.
“It was a really high level of competition,” said Andreotti. “The venue was incredible.”
Honoured as Canada’s top competitor at the 2016 Ahprodite Cup in Athens, Greece, Andreotti’s career as a junior Canadian representative has had her compete across Europe, from Italy to Russia, where she achieved four personal bests in in rope, hoop, ball and clubs during the 2016 Moscow Grand Prix. She is now in Vienna before heading to Spain for training.
“I like to perform,” said Andreotti, who currently sits fourth on the junior national team.
Despite the time spent travelling throughout the year, Andreotti manages to stay on top of her schooling.
“It’s not too difficult,” she said. “The teachers are really good at getting me caught up.”
And even with the international success Andreotti has faced, she manages to stay grounded and sees areas of improvement.
“I think I need to improve my faster apparatus techniques and transitions,” said Andreotti.
But for her, the sport’s benefits go beyond the travel and competition.
“I love the training and hanging with my teammates.
“I love (rhythmic gymnastics) so much. I can’t imagine not being with it.”