Jessie Georget’s path to gymnastics greatness has been long in several forms of the word.
To get to the Prince Albert Aerials Gymnastics Club from his home in the Domremy area, it’s a 45-minute drive. This drastically cuts into his training time, in a sport where athletes typically can spend in excess of 25 hours per week perfecting their craft.
But the commute hasn’t stopped Georget’s growth in a time-consuming sport.
Georget was named Athlete of the Year with Gymnastics Saskatchewan for the past two years in the men’s artistic program. He also finished third overall at the Western Canadian Championships in Brandon, Man. last season.
“Jessie is at a level where most kids that he’s competing against are probably training — at the minimum — 10 hours a week more than he does. I tell him all the time that the only reason he’s as good as he is through sheer force of will,” Georget’s coach Bryce Elliott said. “He comes in here, he puts his head down and he works whether he’s having a good day or a bad day.
“Anytime I cancel for any reason, I know I’m going to hear about it from him. He really doesn’t like to miss gym.”
Despite the hours tied up behind the wheel, Georget still manages to put in upwards of 16 hours of training each week. Whether that’s considerably less than his competition or not, Georget makes sure he takes advantage of each second he’s at the gym.
“When I’m here, it’s training all the time,” Georget said. “I train hard, always thinking of the next event, getting ready mentally and physically. And then being at the event I’m comfortable doing my stuff, just putting out my best performance.”
The young man is on the shortlist for the Canada Winter Games and is attending a camp in Athens, Greece at the end of June at the country's national training centre.
After just three weeks of fundraising, Georget is already close to hitting his target for the trip.
In terms of the future, Elliott is confident his pupil will continue to elevate his performance level.
“Our big goal this year is to move up to the national level,” Elliott explained. “This past year, [Georget] had a lot of success at the Western Canadian level, and this year will be his first time competing on the national stage if everything goes to plan.
“We’re really excited to see what he can do.”
Aerials well represented at SaskFirst
Georget is one of six Aerials athletes to be named in this year’s SaskFirst Team, designed to develop the young athletes to excel in high-performance events.
Brent Ertman, 19, along with Serra Gillis, 15, Sam Caisse, 14, Jai-Li Harvey and Jenna Tiessen, both 12, are all on the provincial team.
Ertman is still fresh off his first international trip to Portugal, finishing in the top six in both of his events; double-mini trampoline and tumbling. He’s on the national tier.
Gillis has been involved in SaskFirst since she was 10 and appeared in nationals last year. Gillis finished in the top 10 on Day 1 and finished fourth in the floor exercise out of a field of 150.
Gillis, along with Caisse, Harvey and Tiessen are all going to a meet on Dec. 10 in Regina, hoping to qualify for a Dec. 27-29 training camp in Saskatoon featuring two-time Olympian Ellie Black.
“Ellie is going to come coach and train alongside them, so it’s a very cool experience for them to train with one of the best—the best gymnastic probably Canada has ever had,” Aerials head coach Mike Amouri added.
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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