Gymnast’s saddened by the cancelation of team

By Savvas Bournelis — Whether it is soccer, basketball, football or even gymnastics imagine spending the entire summer, morning and night, hardly getting any sleep or even hanging with friends and family as much as you would want to because you are training. This describes the way of life for many sports, especially gymnastics.

Gymnastics has been a part of the athletics program since the school was founded in 1975. But last Oct., right before the season started, those wanting to participate were informed there would be no team for one simple reason: not enough players.

“The gymnastics team needed to have at least four athletes to have a team. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet this standard,” athletic director Scott Garcia said.

With this let down, many of the players who were looking into joining the team had shared their feelings and thoughts. Junior and gymnast, Rachel Hart, has had to deal with this change in her life.

“I have had a love for gymnastics ever since I was just six years old,” Hart said.

She expressed her passionate feelings for not only how much she loves the sport itself, but even about how she felt when she found out she would not be able to play this year on the gymnastics team.

“It’s one of my top most favorite things to do. I absolutely love it but I’m extremely disappointed and saddened by this change here at GlenOak,” Hart said.

When change occurs, most affected students find other activities to do that keep them busy.

Hart said even though she does not play anymore, she has found herself coaching a beginners group, aging from seven to nine years old, gymnastics team at the Northeast Community Challenge Coalition in Canton.

Alongside with Hart, there are several others who suffered the consequences of this problem. Junior Stephanie Villella was also a member of the team last school year.

“I am deeply saddened by this change. I was truly looking forward to playing but it just didn’t happen,” Villella said.

Villella too, has found another activity. She has stuck with participating in gymnastics at the North Canton YMCA Center as a member of it’s team.

“Just because there is no team this year, there could still be one next year if there are enough players,” Garcia said.

However, there will not be as many meets as there were last year. Garcia is not sure why gymnastics is not as popular as it once was, but does wonder if the team has lost members due to cheerleading. Cheerleaders are required to learn some tumbling moves for competition.

Change has occurred in Villella and Hart’s lives, something they were not expecting nor wanting but there are alternatives.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]