Young gymnasts from GIG competing on Oahu

  • Nick Celario / The Garden Island

    Garden Island Gymnastics coach Karla Villanueva-Bernal, far left, stops for a photo with her competitive gymnasts Wednesday in Kapaa. Gymnasts from left: Jasmine Winston, Lilinoe Estrella, Kailar Aguiar, Alexis Telles, Audrey Kaona-Sarsona and Avah McRoberts-Johnson.

KAPAA — Six gymnasts from Garden Island Gymnastics have been pretty busy the last couple of months.

“It’s just been super amazing,” said Karla Villanueva-Bernal, Garden Island Gymnastics coach. “Being recognized, being a gym from Kauai and doing these competitions, it’s really crazy. We’re one of the very few outsiders that don’t come from Oahu that do the competitions. It’s nice to see the support from the other gymnastics clubs.”

The six competitors from GIG are:

– Level 4: Alexis Telles, 9, and Kailar Aguiar, 7.

– Level 3: Audrey Kaona-Sarsona, 9, Avah McRoberts-Johnson, 10, Jasmine Winston, 10, and Lilinoe Estrella, 8.

Since early October, the girls from GIG competed in four meets on Oahu.

Last month, they competed at the Princess Classics, hosted by Island Tumblers Gymnastics in Waipahu, and at the Halloween Classics, hosted by Kokokahi Gymnastics Team in Kaneohe.

Earlier this month, they took part in the USA Gymnastics Hawaii State Invitation, hosted by Tumble Kids Kailua, and at the Hawaii State Championship, hosted by Rainbow Gymnastics Academy in Waimalu.

Villanueva-Bernal said each girl placed in the top 12 in each of five events at every meet on Oahu — floor, vault, uneven bars, beam and all-around.

“It makes me very emotional and very proud,” Villanueva-Bernal said. “I’ve had some of these kids when we started at All Saints (about eight years ago). … Pretty much, all the girls that competed this season, they were my little ones that started class at 2 years old.”

On Dec. 29, GIG will host an exhibition on-island. In January, GIG will next compete at Aloha Gymfest on Oahu hosted by Kokokahi Gymnastics.

“This is the most competitions we’ve gone to, ever. I’ve got to give a lot of props to the parents,” Villanueva-Bernal said. “A lot of them were new parents coming in for this competitive season. … It was like, ‘Welcome to the world of competitive gymnastics.’ It was really great to see Kauai out there.”


Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or


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