By Ottawa Sports Pages, for Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club
Breanna Rich has been doing gymnastics pretty much her entire life.
She started in artistic gymnastics at age four, then began training at Kanata Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics when she was eight. She competed from age nine to 16, studied aerial hoop and contortion at circus school in Montreal, then moved back to Ottawa to coach at KRSG.
Despite her extensive career in the sport, summer camps at KRSG stand out.
“They’re such fond memories,” underlines Rich, a senior coach and summer camp coordinator for Kanata Rhythmic. “Everything’s just new and fresh and exciting, so it’s a really fun time to be doing gymnastics.”
Kanata Rhythmic’s recreational summer camp is back this summer for three week-long sessions in July (camps for interclub, provincial and national-level athletes take place later in the summer). With themes of Under the Sea, Super Explorers and Dance Week, girls will get an introduction to rhythmic gymnastics and develop their fitness, coordination and concentration.
Campers will do warm-ups and gymnastics in the morning, as well as arts and crafts. They’ll get outside and cool off with a trip to a nearby splash pad, then do more gymnastics in the afternoon with summersaults, rolls, handstands and more.
Rich remembers how much fun summer camp was for her, especially the deep bond she made with friends. That’s the thing she enjoyed most about being a gymnast.
“I remember really enjoying getting to just have fun with my friends,” Rich recalls. “My school friends, I have a couple here and there, but most of them have kind of come and gone. My gymnastics friends, it’s such a different bond that you develop.”
Her transition from competing to coaching was a natural one. In her last year competing, she started giving younger gymnasts small corrections. Seeing their eagerness to improve and enthusiasm for getting better was what sparked her to be a coach.
While she initially planned to use her training from the École nationale de cirque to perform on stage, the pull of coaching was stronger. She had been bussing back to Ottawa to coach during her time at school and came back to coach after.
Now, the 30-year-old has been at KRSG for more than 20 years. She is a NCCP level 3 certified coach, and a certified national level judge.
She’s running Kanata’s recreational camps alongside current gymnasts working to become coaches, and those who are already coaches themselves.
“Rhythmic gymnastics is such a unique sport, and it’s really a sport that’s up and coming,” Rich highlights. “Do it. It’s fun and it’s exciting and it’s a great sport for young girls to do growing up.”
Learn more about Kanata Rhythmic Sportive Gymnastics summer camps at KRSG.org/gymnastics-camps.