By Starrla Cray
COKATO, DASSEL, MN Gymnastics takes flexibility, balance, coordination, and strength and the path to perfection is practice.
Dassel-Cokato Community Education offers an assortment of ways to improve skills, including an upcoming mini-camp for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
“It is designed to expose kids to the basic skills of gymnastics at a beginners level, but all skill levels are welcome,” said Dassel-Cokato High School gymnastics coach Sara Keskey.
Keskey’s team (grades seven-12) helps with instruction for the camp.
“A lot of the girls did the program last year as sixth-graders, and now they’re the helpers,” Keskey said. “. . . It is a great way for the team to introduce the sport to the younger kids. . . It also makes it fun when kids come to gymnastics meets and recognize the gymnasts that are competing.”
The mini-camp is always conducted at the end of the gymnastics season, and is an annual fundraiser for the team. Money raised goes toward springboards, blocks, and any other needed equipment.
Camp participants are introduced to all four events vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise.
“The little kids are so fun to watch, because they get so excited when they learn a new skill,” Keskey said.
A different gymnastics program for young children took place earlier this year. Taught by Anna Aamot, the five-week community education program had two sections one for ages 4 and 5, and one for ages 6 and 7.
By the end of the program, children were performing cartwheels, handstands, and back bends. One mother commented that her 6-year-old “loves it, and wishes it could go longer.”
Keskey noted that “all of the community ed programs are an asset to the community to help develop well-rounded kids in sports and art.”
A camp to flip for
What: A mini-camp to help beginner gymnasts increase their skills in a positive and safe environment.
Who: Open to kindergarten through sixth grade.
When: The camp takes place in the afternoon Feb. 27, 28, March 2, 7, 8, and 9. Younger children’s sessions are 30 minutes long, while older children have 45-minute sessions.
Where: The Dassel-Cokato Middle School gymnasium.
Why: To raise money for the DC Charger gymnastics team.
Info: Space for the k-6 gymnastics mini-camp is limited to 24 per section. The fee is $30 to $40 depending on age. An early bird discount is offered until Tuesday, Feb. 21.
Contact: To learn more, contact DC community ed at (320) 286-4120.