“I always think about how proud Year 1 me would be right now, which motivates me to be an inspiration to the younger generation of Bangkok Patana gymnasts.” Starting in Year 1, Evelyn Cannon has been doing gymnastics for nearly thirteen years and is the Gymnastics’ co-Captain for 2022/23. “I wasn’t really a natural at first, and it took a few years before I won my first award. But since then, I’ve kept improving. When I was younger, seeing the older gymnasts perform at such a high level really pushed me to do the work to improve. Now that I am in the position of an older gymnast, I hope to reciprocate that same feeling for my team.”
After graduating from Bangkok Patana, Evelyn plans to pursue medicine. She has applied to undergraduate biomedical sciences programmes in the UK and hopes to attend medical school in Australia or New Zealand after the completion of her undergraduate degree. “I think the most important thing I’ve learned from gymnastics is all the transferrable skills, like resilience, perseverance and determination. There are definitely days where you feel like giving up, but you always push through, and that has made me a stronger person.” Evelyn says gymnastics is a mindset – that her personal connection with the sport has transformed it into a relaxation method, contributing further to her holistic well-being.
A few of Evelyn’s proudest moments include being awarded MVP twice and achieving first place overall in her first Level 7 competition. However, she focuses less on the accolades and more on the relationships and connections she has built and maintained through gymnastics. “Every single training session has so many memories and so many laughs. During my first SEASAC* abroad, I remember having such a great time with my friends and I think that just goes to show that it’s not about the winning or the competitions, but it’s about the connections you build with your teammates that will resonate with you for a long time. I don’t even remember how I performed at that time; I just remember the memories that I made with my friends.”
Becoming Team Captain has been particularly heartwarming for Evelyn. “It feels great knowing that I’ve progressed from this little Year 1 student looking up to the Captain, and now I am actually in that role that I’ve admired for so long. It makes me so happy when the younger gymnasts run up to me to say hi and hug me.” She encourages the younger Bangkok Patana gymnasts to enjoy every single moment of the experience because ‘time really does fly’. Reflecting on her thirteen years as a gymnast, Evelyn noted that realizing she only has a ‘handful of months’ left in her gymnastics career has reminded her not to take any second for granted, ‘even on days that are tough’. She advises younger gymnasts to think about their careers as a learning experience and to reach out to coaches, family and friends when they are going through a hard time. “In gymnastics, sometimes you may feel quite isolated, but just know that they are always there for you. Keep motivating yourself and keep with it!”
*South East Asia Student Activities Conference
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