Fort Erie’s Fantastic Gymnastics’ GoFundMe supporting international level competitors

Fort Erie’s Fantastic Gymnastics (FEFG) is hoping they can rely on a little help from their friends.

Credit: Fort Erie’s Fantastic Gymnastics | GoFundMe

Sarah Morin, owner and founder, who started the gymnastics school in 2018, told Fort Erie Radio there are not many local opportunities for gymnastic competitions on an international level.

To get more experience and form connections prior to participating in the 2024 Canadian Gymnastics Championships, which will be taking place later this year in Gatineau, Quebec, the team travelled to compete in Las Vegas.

“This was an amazing meet where we were able to get constructive feedback on our routines and make connections to better our programs as a whole,” said Morin. “Our standout performances were on-the-hand blocks from Onnalyn Sutter who secured third place and Brooke Annett who secured second.”

However, it came at a cost.

“This trip was a huge financial drain on many of our families who felt they may not be able to afford Canadians after such a trip,” Morin said. “Because of this, I set up the GoFundMe page.”

Morin explained that if one athlete can’t make it, their entire group will be disqualified.

“I couldn’t imagine putting in all the work these parents and athletes have put in to not be able to make it,” she said. “I just couldn’t let that happen so I took it upon myself to raise the money any way I could.”

The GoFundMe, which Morin created April 11, has already raised more than $3,200 of its $7,500 goal for the school’s 27 competitive athletes.

“We offer drop-in classes for babies starting at 18 months all the way up to our teen groups,” said Morin, noting that FEFG is home to an additional 120 recreational athletes.

“The oldest athlete in the gym right now is 16.”

Morin added that 2024 has been a “whirlwind” for the club.

“We put our first woman’s athlete into a tour selection qualifying meet and she won,” said Morin of Adelyn Pisaric, who is in the level six, age 15 category.

“Due to her win, Adelyn was the team captain and I was the Team Ontario level six head coach. We travelled to Arizona (earlier this year) where Team Ontario secured the gold.”

Pisaric proceeded to win and sweep at following qualifying meets heading into provincial championships.

“Out of 202 athletes including herself, Adelyn earned the top spot in the province which also qualified her for the all-star team,” she noted. “Adelyn is a superstar and I can’t wait to see where her next season takes her.”

The team is headed to Kelowna, B.C. next to take part in the Grizzly Classic.

Morin wanted to thank her employees as well as the parents who put in time volunteering and driving these children all over the province. She also thanked the athletes for trusting her and her process.

“We are a team and we couldn’t function or achieve these accolades without working well together,” she said, adding, “I am so grateful, especially to Stacey Richard who covers for me both at the gym and at competitions so our club can be functioning no matter where in North America I am taken.”

Coming up on June 1, FEFG will be hosting a fundraiser they’re calling the ‘Fantastathon’.

“This is a recreational event where we will showcase our high level acrobatics and women’s gymnastics athletes during the day,” said Morin. “There is a small admission at the door and a barbecue and snack area, where all proceeds will go towards our team heading to Canadians.”

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