Willows student leaps into BC Winter Games

Elisabeth Foss competes in rhythmic gymnastics at the BC Winter Games

École Willows elementary student Elisabeth Foss

Fourth-grader Elisabeth Foss holds dreams of twirling ribbons in the Olympics.

The rhythmic gymnast is on that path with her first big foray into major competition when she and three of her teammates at the Rhythmic Gymnastics Club of Victoria compete at the BC Games in Penticton.

“I’m really proud of Elisabeth for her commitment and her willingness to get out there and compete as a first-year competitive gymnast. That takes a lot of guts,” said coach Kristy Wilson. “It’s really great that she’s willing to put herself out there. It says a lot about her personality.”

It’s a sport in development, says Wilson, who has coached Elisabeth for 18 months, and Vancouver Island is one of the regions underdeveloped while Vancouver, for example, is a stronghold.

It limits their ability to find the athlete in the right competitive stream, age, commitment and ability.

Elisabeth, who is also “focused and hard-working,” met all the criteria.

“This is her first year doing competition. It’s very much going to be a growth opportunity for her to learn from,” says Wilson. “She’s really stepped it up this year. Last year she was more in a performance program and this year she put up her hand and said she wanted to do more and take on more of a challenge. So we moved her into the competitive team. She’s shown huge growth in the last couple of months.”

Rhythmic gymnastics features difficult body movements – leaps and turns and balances – at times combined with apparatus such as hoops, a ball, clubs or ribbons (Elisabeth’s favourite).

The mix of dance and gymnastics drew her mom Elena to the sport and she enrolled Elisabeth when her daughter was in Kindergarten. A few years later, Elisabeth remains enamoured with the sport, practicing several times a week with her club plus a little homework on the side.

“It’s fun, you can go upside down,” she says. The youngster has no difficulty picking up a foot until her leg aligns with her face for a photo, with a grin. Then she slides into the splits – with ease.

Elisabeth is currently mastering two individual routines and a group ball routine with three Greater Victoria peers – Lily Williams, Katie Evans and Micaela Brennan.

“We’re hoping in particular that our group will do well this year,” Wilson said.

Elisabeth loves the challenge of her freestyle routine, featuring splits, side holds, turns and leaps.

“It’s fast and hard to keep up with the timing and I like that,” she says.

Her rope routine may be an exercise in competition readiness, and not appear at the BC Games.

“It’s a difficult sport, it requires a lot of co-ordination … you have to do these difficult body movements and you have to then do them while you’re moving the apparatus,” says Wilson “We want to put forward her strongest.”

It will also be the girl’s first foray away from home. Elisabeth holds no fears of heading out on her inaugural overnighter and her first major competition.

“It’s my first big thing,” Elisabeth says. Naturally, with Olympic dreams in mind, she wants a medal.

“We keep our expectations focussed on personal bests,” says Wilson, “learning from the experience, watching and taking it all in.”

The B.C. Winter Games are Feb. 25 to 28 in Penticton. Other sports include archery, badminton, biathlon, curling, diving, figure skating, ringette and skiing. Visit bcgames.org for participants and results.

 

Just Posted

Student group seeks cap on international tuition fees

UVic increased international fees 20 per cent for 2018-19

West Shore firefighters answer call to battle fires in north-central B.C.

Crews to help with structural fire protection in Fort St. James

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Heat and smoke raises health risks

Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror Health risks arising from heat and… Continue reading

Victoria’s Global Village Store celebrates 30 years in business

The City’s first free-trade store sells products from 28 countries around the world

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Most Read