Gemma B. ’17 took up pole vaulting in October 2015, and it didn’t take long for her to reach some pretty impressive heights. She got a brief introduction while volunteering at the 2015 Pam Am Games, and decided she’d love to try it. A former gymnast, she quickly found pole vaulting to be a unique combination of two of her favourite sports (gymnastics and running/track.)
Gemma competes as a member of the SCS Track and Field Team and the U of T Track Club, where she trains in the High Performance program. This entails 4 practices each week, incorporating pole drills, rope swinging drills, pole vaulting over a bungee to aim for a set height, and conditioning (for example, lots of burpees!) Inspired by Shawn Barber (no relation), the first pole vaulter with whom she was familiar due to his success at the Pan Am Games, Gemma experienced her own highlight last season when she placed 2nd at CISAA!