Port Alberni trampoline athlete Annabelle Price has been named Gymnastics BC’s Female Athlete of the Year.
Price received her award during the 2023 Gymnastics BC Awards and Scholarship ceremony on Oct. 14, 2023 at the Element Vancouver Metrotown Hotel, presented by Sport Burnaby.
A Grade 11 student at Alberni District Secondary School, Price competes in Level 4 (16 and over) events in trampoline, double mini and tumbling with Port Alberni Gymnastics Academy (PAGA).
This is the first time since 1984 that a gymnast from PAGA has earned a B.C. title, spokesperson Dana Walter said.
Price, now 16, has competed in gymnastics since she was six years old. She started with recreational gymnastics classes, then when she was eight she moved up to competitive artistic. “Then at 12 I switched to competitive trampoline. I just loved it,” she said.
Price learned early on that team sports aren’t for her. She preferred competitive dance and gymnastics; when participating in both became too much, gymnastics won. “I decided to go with gymnastics because it still had that element of dance and floor routines and stuff.”
Gymnastics is also athletic, and she was drawn to the power, strength and speed necessary to succeed, said her mother, Allyson Price.
While Annabelle readily admits that the trampoline and tumbling group at PAGA is a team—her brother Jackson also competes—she said she likes the individuality of the sport. “When I get on the trampoline, I’m doing this routine and I’m doing it for me…I’m in control,” she said.
She works with coach Sandra Poelzer, practicing three days a week and working on strength conditioning her off-days. “I love working with her,” Price said about Poelzer, who was once a competitive gymnast.
“She understands how to coach me through mental blocks and through new skills.”
Poelzer has also shared a signature move with Price—one the young Port Alberni athlete excels at. Both of them are known for the one-in-three ballout rudi. Explains Price: “It is a double front flip where you land on your back and then from your back, you do a flip with a one-and-a-half twist.
“I did it in a competition for the first time at Westerns; it’s not a very common skill.”
Price was on the high school gymnastics team last year for artistic gymnastics, but says the sport was cut as a high school sport. She will continue competing with PAGA until she graduates high school.
“I hope to go to nationals before then.”