Jan. 10, 2007
Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. This week, freshman Laura Woolf talks about the team's visits to local elementary schools and the upcoming season.
Hey Illini Gymnastics Fans!
Only two days until our first meet against the University of Missouri! With the meet quickly approaching, each day the excitement and intensity level in the gym has been rising drastically. All of us have been working very hard to prepare ourselves for season and now its time for all of our hard work to pay off!
The girls have not only been working hard in the gym, but outside the gym as well. This past Thursday, the girls and coaches visited local elementary schools. We split into three groups and each group visited a different elementary school. I was in a group with Mel, Sarah, Kimmie, Michelle, and Coach Kim. We went and visited Yankee Ridge elementary school. When we got there, the children were eating lunch, so we had time to sit down and chat with them. I thoroughly enjoyed mingling with the children because they would tell me personal stories about what was going on in their lives. Some of the stories really made me laugh.
After we mingled with the children, we introduced ourselves to everyone. As we went down the line saying our names, where we were from, and our favorite event, you could just see the little kids' eyes light up. This was one of those moments where I knew that all of the dedication that I put into gymnastics was well worth it. My favorite part about the introduction was when Mel taught the kids an Illinois cheer. One half of the room had to say "I-L-L" and the other half had to say "I-N-I". As the kids began to chant back and forth it got all of us really excited and pumped for our first meet!
After we introduced ourselves, we proceeded to follow the children into their classrooms so that we could color and play games with them. I sat at the coloring table and drew pictures for all the kids. They all loved the pictures and as a result decided to make me pictures as well. Most of the pictures that the children had made had a person screaming "Go Illini" on it. These kids worked very hard on these pictures and put a lot of thought into them as well. I took great pleasure in visiting the elementary school and can't wait until our next elementary school visit which is this Monday!
To cap off our week, Coach Bob took the team out for dinner at a local restaurant called ZA's. It was fun to enjoy a nice meal with the entire team.
I hope that everyone had a good and relaxing holiday! Get excited for the 2007 season because we are going to kick butt!
Thanks for reading and GO ILLINI!