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Preparing for the future

Alpena gymnastics camp being held in Alpena

Members of the morning gymnastics camp stretch and warm up before the second day of the Alpena Gymnastics camp held at the APlex in Alpena. The three day camp began Monday and runs through Sunday. The camp is broken up into three different age groups as over 100 gymnasts attended the camp.

Over the past several years, gymnastics in Alpena has enjoyed a resurgence.

Young athletes who are interested in gymnastics have plenty of opportunity to become a part of what has become a successful gymnastics program in Alpena.

On Monday, the Alpena APlex was host to a three day gymnastics camp that consisted of three different age groups that took place at three different times of the day.

The morning camp (10 a.m. until noon) is an introductory camp for children just beginning the sport and learning what gymnastics is all about.

The afternoon camp (1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.) is the middle level team camp that is for gymnasts continuing to grow in the sport and the evening camp (5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.) is the competitive gymnasts for more advanced athletes and gymnasts who are familiar with the sport.

Not only is the camp run by members of the Alpena gymnastics program, but each year, gymnasts from the University of Michigan attend the camp and this year was no different as a pair of gymnasts were once again on hand to help and share their knowledge with the young gymnasts in Alpena.

“It’s so special for us to be able to bring in gymnasts from the University of Michigan and we’re very lucky because we have the U of M connection with Kurt Golder and he gives us the options to get these gymnasts,” Alpena gymnastics instructor Buffy Storey said. “Because this camp is three intense days in a row, it’s an excellent way to drive home that new skill they’re working on and it’s just the extra time and muscle memory going on that’s so important. We try to have each gymnast set a goal and at the younger levels, just get their basic skills down. Each gymnast gets a lot of attention during the camp which is great.”

The Alpena gymnastics program has enjoyed a lot of success lately and have hosted competitive gymnastics competition that their athletes have excelled in.

The camp is important for a program that continues to grow and it allows younger athletes to set goals and experience what it takes to be apart of a special program.

“It’s exciting the way the camp has been growing over the years. When we started running this, it started as one camp and we would do it in the morning and split everyone up by abilities. From there we went to two camps and now with our growing number of gymnasts, we have three camps which is special,” Storey said, “I was a little concerned this year because three camps is a lot, but we have been able to keep up the enthusiasm and energy and the kids have been great. Everyone has been enjoying their time and it’s really exciting.”

Over 100 gymnasts attended the three day camp and the event will conclude today with the same three groups participating at the same times.

Alpena gymnastics will also be holding July summer classes, regular open gyms and a Bar camp in August with the goal to continue helping the area gymnasts become better and more prepared for their future in gymnastics.

“It’s been an exciting camp that has just gone so well. We are blessed to have so many older and experienced gymnasts available to help out so everyone attending our camp gets on opportunity to get some one-on-one time and learn,” Storey said. “It’s a special tradition we have here in Alpena for our gymnastics program and we hope to continue with the annual camps and keep the tradition going and continue to build for our future.”