Freshman Kelsey Joannides
July 16, 2009
Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this summer edition, freshman Kelsey Joannides talks about the team's summer activities and working at the Illini Gymnastics Camp.
Hey Illini Fans!
I hope you are all having a fantastic summer so far! It's hard to believe that it's already half over and we will be heading back to school in a few weeks. I know here in Champaign we are enjoying every last minute of it.
As we said goodbye to our seniors back in May, the majority of us went home for almost a month. It was a nice stretch of time to see our families and sleep in our own beds for a change! As wonderful as it was to be home, those four weeks crept by so slowly and by mid-June, I speak for all of us when I say we were just itching to get back on campus and see each other again! It was so much fun to arrive in Champaign and see the girls! June 15th began the second summer school session that we all returned for, but it also started our fun list of activities for summer '09! Where do I even start?
Back inside Kenney Gym has been tons of fun. We have a more laid back schedule outside of season. We are free to keep up with skills on our own, so we have had time to try lots of new things. Just about every day at practice, I see one of us throw a new bar release or chuck a different tumbling pass. Seeing the girls push themselves to increase their difficulty has been very motivating. It is getting me sooo anxious and excited to see what we are going to be able to put together come the 2009-2010 season!
On another note, we had another successful year of our Illini Gymnastics Camp! I joined the coaching staff and other girls in coaching 92 girls from ages 7 through 17. Our 2009 seniors, Marijka and Kimmy, even returned to lend a hand. It was quite an experience spotting, interacting, and keeping up with so many energetic girls! Myself, along with Sarah, Laura, Allison, Sam, and Mel, chose to be over night counselors and got to stay in the dorms with the campers during their time here. It was really fun to learn all their names and watch them train. They learned so much, and we concluded the camp with the Mini-Olympics which provided us with some good laughs from the crazy activities we had them do - obstacle courses, face painting, pull-up contests...to name a few. Check out all the pictures from camp on the website!
Outside the gym is just as exciting because this is my very first summer experience as an Illini. One of the nicest things about summer on campus is living in the apartments with the older girls! It is a much needed break from the dorm life :). Besides, we have done some pretty cool stuff. Our team, along with the Men's Gymnastics Team, went on a boat trip together. We spent a weekend camping and enjoying life on a lake. It was a great time. And also, now that our recreation center, the ARC, is done, we spend much of our time outside of practices laying out at the pool. We've also gone to movies, attended concerts, and really had fun so far.
I can't wait to wrap up the rest of an amazing summer here in Champaign so that pre-season training starts up in preparation for another successful year! I hope everyone is having a relaxing, eventful summer as well, and thanks for keeping up!