YMCA camp gives aspiring gymnasts a leg up

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- With summer comes summer camps, and there is a wide variety to choose from. But ABC 7’s Don Brennan found a camp that may be a stepping stone to a gold medal.

The Sarasota YMCA has a camp this summer catering to gymnasts who are just starting out, or taking the next step.

"For the most part they are all beginners. They find that their level of talent, or their level of ability is better than they thought it was," says Shannon Carrasco, director of gymnastics.

The aspiring gymnasts get lessons on tumbling, uneven bars, parallel bars and floor exercises. "Some of them don't even know how to do that when they come in here. When they finally do one it is awesome to see their faces light up. They are amazed at even what they can do."

Each camper is there for their own personal reasons. "Because it’s fun and I like doing it. And I am good at it," says 10-year-old Aimee Cazaubon.

"I've been doing gymnastics, and I thought I could do another year of it, really," says 8-year-old Michelle Novak.

The YMCA Berlin Branch in Sarasota sent a large contingent to nationals last summer, so that gives these gymnasts something to shoot for. "Because I always make it to the top, and when you do you get a lollipop," says Novak.

"I've learned a back handspring," says Cazaubon.