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Saanich team takes silver medal in virtual national gymnastics competition

Inspire Sports Victoria athletes also score individual medals, top 10 placements
Max Hewstan-Gates, left, Gage Reilly, Jack Dompierre and Ian Burnett combined to win a team silver medal at the recent national gymnastics championships, held virtually. (Photo courtesy of Lucas Tiefenbach)

Saanich’s Inspire Sports Victoria saw four of its athletes take home a silver medal competing as the B.C. men’s artistic gymnasts provincial team in Canada’s national championships.

The team, including Jack Dompierre and Ian Burnett, both 18, Gage Reilly, 16, and 15-year-old Max Hewstan-Gates competed virtually at Phoenix Gymnastics in Vancouver as Team BC against other provinces in the first national event of its kind. The foursome scored multiple top 10 placements individually to boost their overall placement.

“Every province picked one host gymnastics gym where the provincial teams would go to film their routines virtually,” said Lucas Tiefenbach, coach/owner of Inspire Sports.

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Junior international gymnast Hewstan-Gates medaled on three events in his age group and has a solid chance of making Canada’s junior national team, Tiefenbach said.

The performances were the latest highlights for the three-year-old Saanich gym, opened by Tiefenbach and his mother, who recognized the need for an inclusive space for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn gymnastics, or practice at a competitive level.

Specifically, Tiefenbach saw a need to create a training environment that could help lead men’s competitors to higher places, he said.

“Gage and his family were pretty dedicated. He would take a ferry to the mainland to train just to be able to do gymnastics at the competitive level,” he said, adding this went on for two years before Inspire Sports opened.

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