IMG_4437The Hockey Skills Academy, a program offered by St.Joseph’s High School brought out the beam and bars to participate in a sport they aren’t so familiar with, gymnastics. The 32 students participating in this educational program traveled over to Renfrew’s Recreational Centre on Thursday, September 21 to enhance their skills.

Looking forward to participating in this fun day, the Jags began their afternoon with a couple of stretches to warm up before getting onto the equipment. The stretches were difficult and absolutely proved how  flexible they were.

There was a variety of skill level amongst all the students; many new to the sport. They got the chance to learn many new skills as well as master some previously taught ones. Some preferring floor, beam, vault or bars; they rotated around the space getting to take a stab at all the events.

“It was difficult but I learned a lot of new tricks,” said Payton McGregor, a grade 9 student new to the hockey program.

Gymnastics, a sport involving plenty of balance and strength helped these players prepare for their upcoming hockey season. Their strength was put to the test when the players were asked to execute pull ups as well as perform a stork stance in the middle of the beam. These difficult tasks definitely allowed the Jags to show off their skills.

“I enjoyed the bars and floor the most, I was learning with Mrs. Cahill how to do a front handspring. My favourite part was the alligator pit game,” said Kara Howarth in her second year with the Hockey Skills Academy. “I would definitely love to do gymnastics again.”

Not only did the day strengthen their muscles and improve their balance but it enhanced their friendships. It allowed them bond, get to know each other better and share a couple of laughs. Though the sport was a challenge the Jags had plenty of fun and the smiles never left their face. The students are looking forward to this time next year. The Jags will be back at Mat-A-Way tomorrow for some physically demanding stations. The Hockey Skills Academy is the place to be.