Young Sooke gymnast leaps over competition

Seven-year-old Ava Jaeger won five gold medals at recent competition

Ava-Marie Jaeger, second from left, and her teammates Jasmine Robertson, far left, Briar Fokkema, third from left, and Tonique Halliman show off their medals from a recent gymnastics competition. (Contributed)

Seven-year-old Sooke gymnast Ava-Marie Jaeger is back handspringing her way straight to the top.

Ava’s mother, Sheila Jaeger, signed her daughter up for gymnastics two years ago, and this was her first season competing.

“I originally put her in soccer, but she was always just doing cartwheels on the field not paying attention, so I decided to sign her up for gymnastics,” said Jaeger. “I can’t believe how well she’s done so far.”

Jaeger explained that Ava practices at the Lions Pride Gymnastics Academy in Langford in the Junior Olympic Program, and was asked to join the competitive team within her first year.

“She skipped right over levels one and two, and competed at a junior level 3 this season which is incredible,” said Jaeger. “Next season she is going to go up a level or two again.”

The season runs from January to late May, and Ava competed at three different competitions.

During each competition, the gymnasts perform routines in four different categories: floor, vault, beams and bars.

Ava’s first competition was in Duncan, where she won gold in all four categories, and another gold medal for all-around score.

At her second competition in May, she won a gold, a bronze, two seventh places, and a bronze medal for all-around score. At her most recent competition, she won a silver, a bronze, a fourth, a fifth and another bronze medal for all-around score.

“My favourite part about the competitions was the awards,” said Ava. “And my favourite routine to do is the floor routine.”

She added that the best part about gymnastics is spending time with her teammates, which she thinks of as her sisters.

“They are an amazing group of girls that give tons of love and support to each other not only in competitions but in practices as well,” explained Jaeger.

Though the competition season is now over, Ava’s training will continue year-round. She trains for three hours, four nights a week.

Ava said her next goal is to do an aeriel, which is like a cartwheel, except you don’t use your hands and you land on both feet. She explained that the most difficult things she does right now are back handsprings and back tucks.

“It was amazing to see how well Ava did this season. She trains all the time, even when she’s not at practice,” said jaeger. “I am so extremely proud of her, and I hope she continues to enjoy the sport, wherever it takes her.”


Just Posted

Three-car accident causing traffic on Pat Bay Highway

North-bound traffic down to one lane, South-bound traffic backing up

Police call off search for missing kayaker in East Sooke

The investigation is now considered a missing person case

Large Oak Bay tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and district investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Pacheedaht First Nation celebrates return of Jordan River lands

Twenty-eight hectares of land bought from B.C. Hydro

Saanich and Victoria councils set to weigh in on amalgamation question

Question in Oct. 20 referendum will ask residents if they are in favour of expolring amalgmation

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

WEB POLL: Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?

Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?… Continue reading

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

Second Narrows Bridge collapse survivor remembers tragic day

Kelowna’s Norm Atkinson remembers what it was like to survive B.C. ‘s worst industrial accident

Lions need to focus on football after disruptive fan incident: coach

Wally Buono says his players need to focus on football after defensive back Marcell Young hit a fan

Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects

Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women to be hired

Get your hot dog water, only $40 in Vancouver

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

Privacy questions linger two years after Canada-U.S. terror list deal struck

Two years after Canadian and U.S. security agencies signed an updated agreement officials consider privacy risk

Manitoba MP was allegedly abusive at Red Cross shelter

Canadian Red Cross has filed a complaint that Liberal backbencher MaryAnn Mihychuk ignored protocol

Most Read