Tag Archives: Noah Piotte

Young Gymnasts Train Locally and Excel Regionally

Gymnasts Gabe Pellitier, Noah Piotte, and Taylor Gigandet train in Salisbury.

Gymnasts Gabe Pellitier, Noah Piotte, and Taylor Gigandet train in Salisbury.

It was not the easiest place to find but the foggy windows gave away the location of the All Around Gymnastics Training Center at 5 Fanaras Drive in Salisbury.

Owner George Teazis invited me to the gym on April 3rd.  Even on a rainy Friday late afternoon, I saw about thirty elementary-school aged kids actively involved in gymnastics. Hence, the foggy windows.

Three of the boys from the gym had done well enough at the state event in March to qualify for the New England Regionals held in Andover April 5th and I had a chance to chat with each of them before they attended the event.

Gabe Pelletier (11) is a fourth grader in Amesbury.  He said his interest in gymnastics, and I suspect his parents’ as well, began, “when I started doing cartwheels in the living room.” 

Gabe said his best event is the floor exercises although he really enjoys the rings, “because of doing dismounts and all that crazy stuff.”

Taylor Gigandet (11) is from Byfield and attends Newbury Elementary School.  He told me that he started gymnastics about four years ago.  “My sister was doing gymnastics and I would stay home and do nothing,” he said.  “My mother asked if I wanted to start and I did.  I really enjoy it.”

Taylor’s favorite event is his best event – high bar.  “I get my highest scores on it and can do advanced tricks.”  That ability earned Taylor the gold medal in the high bar and fifth overall at the New England Regionals on April 5th at Andover High School.

Noah Piotte (14) is from Haverhill.  “My grandmother got me into gymnastics about four years ago,” he recalled. “She thought it would be good for me.”

Noah said that his favorite event is the rings because, “it takes the most strength.” 

Noah is now the New England champion in the parallel bars. He also finished fourth overall at Andover.

“George (Teazis) is training me to be a coach,” added Noah.  “I’ll probably help coach some of the older kids.”

Several days after the interview, George called me with the results of the New England Regionals and added that, “he was extremely pleased with how his boys did.  We go at it all year and the boys have worked hard.  They will now move up to a more difficult level and hopefully be ready to compete at that level by November/December.”

George reports that his facility is a busy place.  “We have about 300-400 kids come here during a typical week.  I say sometimes that my wife (Debbie) and I live here.”

“We have been here for about 15 years,” he said, “and I have been coaching for 34 years.”  He laughed when he told me, “I just got a call from a former student who told me she wanted to bring her daughter here.” 

Gymnastics are not easy, according to George.  “It is the hardest sport in the world,” he explained.  “Pound for pound gymnasts are the strongest athletes in the world.  There is plenty of work involved to get good at it.”

Most of the gymnasts I have seen are not only strong but also short.  “Size matters in gymnastics,” said George.

I learned that in competition gymnasts are not divided by age but by ability.  “Older doesn’t mean anything in gymnastics,” he explained.  “A seven or eight year old can be competing on the same level as someone fifteen or sixteen.”

“We enjoy teaching kids,” he added.  “We think that they enjoy it here.  It keeps some of them out of trouble.  They learn about making a commitment to something positive which gives them a good sense for later life.”

(This story appeared in The Town Common on April 15th)

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All Around Gymnastics Training Center of Salisbury

Gabe, Noah, and Taylor from the All Around Gymnastics Training Center in Salisbury.

Gabe, Noah, and Taylor from the All Around Gymnastics Training Center in Salisbury.

Gymnastics?  I got them as an assignment for The Town Common. 

What do I know about gymnastics?  The only time I’ve ever seen them has been on TV especially during the Olympics.

I know that the people involved are small and daring.  They clearly do things you would be apprehensive to watch live with lesser skilled people performing.

Anyhow, I got the assignment to cover the accomplishments of the All Around Gymnastics Training Center in Salisbury.

I arranged for an interview on April 3rd.  If you know my “sense” of direction, you could easily find a place that is down the street from Salisbury’s Hodgies.  Unfortunately, Hodgies opened the day AFTER I did the interview.

This gym was hard to find on a wet late afternoon.  There were no outside markings that gave the name away, as far as I could see.  The giveaway was the fogged up windows.  Picture a school bus on a rainy day.

I entered a place that had an assortment of gymnastic equipment.  Outside that area was a windowed room where parents could watch what was going on.

I could see that the participants were almost exclusively elementary school age.  There was a lot going on, sort of like a school cafeteria.

The owner, George Teazis, saw me.  I knew he was Greek because of his name and because I had talked to him on the phone.  I was there to talk to him and to the three boys from that gym who had qualified for the New England Regionals. 

Two of the boys were fourth graders and eleven while the other kid was fourteen.  The older kid had obviously been lifting a lot as you can see in the picture. 

I tried to ask each kid similar questions.  One of them was very curious to know what paper the story would go in.  I tried to explain that I didn’t work for ESPN.

After the boys, I waited for George and had the chance to see, what could have been, an eight year old go through a floor routine.  This little girl did flips and spins as George coached her and was very impressive.

George has been coaching for 34 years and has worked with literally thousands of kid,s I suspect.  He was quite demanding of the kids but since he knows what it takes to be a good gymnast he had everyone’s attention.  He said that there’s not a lot of fooling around and the kid’s train hard. 

George got me to confirm that the story would appear April 15th. 

Today I got a call from George updating me on how the three boys had done at the Regionals.  That helped me a lot with the story because it gave it closure.  Two of the boys had won first place medals in individual events.

I now think, after doing the story, that seeing some of these young gymnasts in action might be a good take.

(I have prepared an article about this training center for The Town Common.  When it is posted on their website I will bring it onto this blog.

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