Whistler's Matthew Susko has been given the Gymnastics BC award for Provincial Male Trampoline Athlete of the Year.
The 11-year-old Susko, a student at Whistler Waldorf School, has been in competitive trampoline with Whistler Gymnastics for just over a year.
He had to make it through three B.C. Cups, followed by the BC Championships and the Western Canadian Championships, placing at a high level in all events, to take the overall award, which was handed out in Burnaby on Saturday, Nov. 7.
"I was really happy and excited to win," said Susko. "It would be really cool (to trampoline for a career)."
Susko competed against 15 other boys in the Western Canadian Championships, and had to beat all other athletes in B.C. who compete at a provincial level in trampolining to win the prize.
The Athlete of the Year award was a bit of a surprise.
"I think he was really quite surprised to be No.1, and going to the awards on Saturday night was even more surprising quite honestly, because he really realized the breadth and size of the recognition," said Matthew's mom Shannon.
"I think he would hope it to be (a future career). He was really interested in watching the Pan Am Games this summer and watching Canada do so well, and he definitely would like to go as far as he can with trampolining as he really enjoys it."
In addition to trampolining with Whistler Gymnastics at the Oros gymnastics centre in Cheakamus, Susko is also in the Whistler Mountain Ski Club U14 and plays with the Whistler Soccer Club U13.
Susko was coached by Louise Stack and assistant coach Tanya Liquorish.
"I was super happy, he deserves it," said Liquorish.
"He trained super hard and is very mature for his age, and he's very serious. He was super strong and confident... We're very proud of him, of course."
The Gymnastics BC guidelines state: "All recipients must show outstanding qualities as a leader, sportsperson and abide by the guidelines of fair play within the sport."
In addition to Susko's award, Whistler Gymnastics also received Host of the Year award for hosting the BC Gymnastics Congress.
Gymnastics clubs from all around B.C. came up to the Congress to improve skills and learn about coaching, teaching kids, first aid and to upgrade their gymnastics levels.
"I think Whistler had a lot to offer for all the people that came up to the Gymnastics BC Congress," said Sandy Belzyck, business manager for Whistler Gymnastics.
"The people just loved it, they loved the facility and it was beautiful being in Whistler. It's really exciting for our club."
The 2015/16 BC Gymnastics season is now underway. For more information contact www.whistlergymnastics.com.
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