Local youth gymnasts have the unique chance to learn from two of America's finest gymnasts as 2013 national champions Stacey Ervin and Alex Bubnov are hosting a training camp at the APlex today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Both athletes have coached other youth gymnastic camps in the past but this is their first time hosting the Alpena camp.
"Our past teammates have done this camp multiple times in the past and it's a great opportunity for us. I always enjoy the chance to help other gymnasts get better," Ervin said.
News Photo by Eric Benac
U of M gymnast Alex Bubnov (right) observes Alpena gymnast Alexis Ferguson during a training practice at the APlex on Monday. He and teammate Stacey Ervin are teaching youth gymnasts today and tomorrow from 10 am to 4 pm.
Ervin competes on the floor, vault and parallel bars while Bubnov competes in rings, vault and the pommel horse. They began instruction at the APlex on Monday.
Alpena has a strong connection with the University of Michigan gymnastics program. Coach Kurt Golder is originally a Wildcat gymnast and when Ervin and Bubnov were contacted to host the camp, they replied to the email in under 20 minutes.
"The opportunity to do to a camp came and went so quickly last year that we just jumped on top of this chance as soon as we could," Ervin said.
This year's camp had a solid turn out on Monday. 25 athletes joined the beginners group while 55 joined the advanced group.
The gymnasts direct the students on proper form and technique on a variety of gymnastic moves. First, they perform the move for the students and then observe them as they perform the technique. Often, they need to repeat the process until the students get it right.
"They definitely all have the drive to compete and get better. Kids that don't want to get better or just go through the motions are so hard to work with but these guys are great," Bubnov said.
Ervin hopes to become a professional gymnasts when he graduates and is studying sports psychology. Bubnov is studying movement science. Both were paid a fee for hosting the camp, including gas.
The Wild Kittens Gymnastics club is hosting and paying for the camp. Attendees pay $45 to join the beginners group from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. while the advanced group pays $65 to attend from 1-4 p.m. They will host a similar camp in August.