When Kerrie and Scott Turner enrolled their bouncy toddler in a parent & tot gymnastics class, they didn’t know that they’d just ignited a spark in their young daughter Sydney.
Since that fateful day, Sydney has spent most of her life growing up in the gym. Now a seasoned competitor, her goals have shifted from receiving a stamp at the end of class, to earning national team assignments.
We had the opportunity to sit down and chat with this bright, articulate young lady during the recent WAG Optional and MAG Gymnastics BC Championships in Surrey, BC. When asked what her favorite international assignment has been to date, the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix in Szombathely immediately came to mind. Sydney’s coach Barb speaks Hungarian, and one of her old teammates is a member of the Hungarian National Team – this allowed for some neat experiences and connections! She also enjoyed the 2022 DTB Pokal Mixed Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, which was her first experience at an event that combined men’s and women’s gymnasts on teams.
One might be curious as to how many hours a week a gymnast trains at this level – for Sydney, this number is about 25, and includes taking some online courses. At only 16 years old, she has learnt to manage her time effectively to balance school and sport; she gets home late from the gym most weekdays, and is up early each morning to spend about an hour at school catching up before classes start. In Sydney’s own words, “it’s busy, but it’s worth it!”.
For Sydney, the extra time spent on her academics is paying off. She recently committed to the University of Iowa, and is excited to start this new chapter of her life after her high school graduation next year. She is interested in the fields of linguistics and education. Her dream job? Moving to Europe to teach English abroad.
Of course, before setting her sights overseas, she has college gymnastics to look forward to! Having had several opportunities to meet with the amazing coaches at Iowa, Sydney is excited to embrace the challenge of competing in a different arm of gymnastics. Go Hawks!
Before a competition, Sydney listens to music to get herself in a good headspace. Prior to each routine, she takes a deep breath and reminds herself to think about one skill at a time. She’s learnt to focus on the present, and to leave everything else for ‘future Sydney’. Her hard work on this is evident – we managed to capture Sydney’s Provincial Championships routines on her favorite events, uneven bars and balance beam, and she sure does make it look easy! Click on the links below to view them.
When asked about advice she has for aspiring young gymnasts, Sydney was happy to share some of her learnings through the years. Her biggest suggestion is to be patient and trust the process. Gymnastics can’t be rushed, and working through frustrations and inconsistencies are part of the journey.
One of Sydney’s short-term goals was to attend the Pan American Championships in Brazil, which she was recently selected to and competed at. Her impressive routines earned her 4th place all-around in the Women’s Senior category, as well as a bronze medal on bars, 5th on beam and 8th on floor. Her performances contributed to Team Canada’s bronze medal, as well as a full team qualification to the upcoming 2022 World Championships. Well done, Sydney!
Swipe through the gallery to see some photos of Sydney over the years, and click on the links below to view her bars and beam routines from Provincials this year!
professional images courtesy of veryokphotos and Gymnastics Canada