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Breeze-Courier Sports Editor
Taylorville junior Sami Breckenridge is, according to her mother, just a sixteen year kid, who likes to have fun putting her time and energy into the hobbies she is passionate about. Sami plays on the THS volleyball team, gets good grades and has secured a spot in the 2023 World Age Group Championship (WAGs) for her third consecutive year.
Sami and her mother, Josie Breckenridge, have traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan (2021) and Sofia, Bulgaria (2022). All this traveling has caused the teen to meet many personalities and helped her to make so many friends along the way.
“It’s been really fun!” She says when asked about her experience. “The first year I was kind of nervous because I hadn’t really met anyone. They were all new to me but last year was fun because they were all my friends and I was able to hangout with them for a lot longer. This year I’m not sure how it’s going to be. A lot of my friends from last year are now seniors and are moving up to the bigger competition. All my teammates that tried out are going so that should be fun.”
Birmingham, England will set the stage for the Taylorville native who has broken out of her shell of shyness.
“The last three years has proven a point to me,” The gymnast states. “Like, you can go as far as you can take yourself in your sport and do big things. It’s pretty amazing to realize how much you can accomplish doing this.”
Each year Sami has upped the ante on what she is capable of and this year she has her eyes on the prize, literally.
“The first year was to just make finals.” She explains. “This last year was just to do two passes (routines) because I was still coming back from my knee injury and this year I want to medal. Any medal.”
Breckenridge attends “Chris’ Power Tumbling” which is located in Shelbyville. Her coach, Trey Katz, has been a giant reason for her consistent success.
“Trey expects a lot out of her,” Says her father Kevin Breckenridge. “He pushes her and has been good for her. Trey is more or less the Double Mini coach.”
Take it from the athlete herself.
“He’s been the one that has forced me to improve.” Sami said. “I would not have had any of these skills if it wasn’t for him. There are sometimes where I really really dislike him but at the same time I know he’s just helping me to get better.”
Sami practices for three hours, three days a week on top of all the volleyball practices and usual school work that comes with being a sixteen year old.
The competition itself will be held throughout mid November (Nov. 12 – 20). Over 1,000 gymnasts from over 40 countries will compete across eight days of thrilling competition, in an event that encapsulates the Trampoline Gymnastics World Championship and the World Age Group Competitions.
There are multiple ways to show your support for Sami and the Breckenridge’s before they make the journey across the pond. One big one will be the Cornhole (Bags) Tournament Fundraiser which take place at “The Roost” out at South Fork Dirt Riders on Aug. 20. Sign ups for the event will begin at noon and bags will fly at 1p.m. There is a $20 per person entry fee with half of the money raised going into a pot for the first, second and third place teams. The other half will be part of the fundraising process. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.