By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

WOODBURY (WCCO) — It takes time, strength, flexibility and a whole lot of courage to become a good gymnast. The Woodbury gymnastics team knows all about that, and they’ve put in the effort — and not just for themselves.

“We thought, what a great way to have kids with disabilities come out and try gymnastics,” said Coach Julie Dornseif.

As part of Woodbury’s “Reaching out as Royals” initiative, or ROAR, the Woodbury gymnasts invited a group of kids with disabilities into their school and taught them a little bit about their sport.

“It was a really fun day. We had a lot of girls with disabilities come in and work with us. They got to do all the events that we got to do,” said gymnast Jenna Kilgore.

Among those participating was 11-year-old McKenna Wohlers. She has Down syndrome and was one of 10 girls that came in that day. She loved it so much that she’s now a frequent visitor.

“We do beam and we do vault and they had a lot of fun doing those events. It seemed like they knew they were doing something fun like we do,” said gymnast Ally Luthe.

The one day event was such a hit that next month girls like McKenna are invited to come every Saturday morning to work on their routine. And because of that, the Woodbury gymnasts are being recognized as WCCO-TV’s Community Spotlight winner.

“It was a great way for our high school team, our gymnasts, to work with young kids and to show them that it is more than gymnastics, it’s about helping kids out,” said Dornseif.

The gymnastics team said they will use the $500 Community Spotlight money to buy new equipment for their team.

The ROAR intiative began a year and a half ago, and it’s something all Woobury teams participate in.

Community Spotlight is sponsored by Sieben Grose Von Holtum and Carey.


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