AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Friends and family gathered to celebrate one of their own committing to the University of Georgia to compete in gymnastics.
“I’m overwhelmed with excitement and I can’t wait to be in Athens competing for the Gymdogs next year,” said gymnast, Sidney Fitzgerald.
“We’re just both super proud of her and excited. We’re both huge Georgia fans. We bleed red and black and it probably hit us this last weekend. We were up there for her official visit when it really kind of hit. So, the shock value wore off; but today’s more about having fun and enjoying the process,” said Scott, Sidney’s father.
Sidney trained locally at C&C Gymnastics and has been with the group for about seven years. She hopes to be an inspiration to kids who want to follow in her footsteps.
“She is such a role model to all of these kids. So, the fact that we will have our very own Georgia Gymdog will be so exciting for our gym and just amazing for the little girls to look up to and hopefully feel like they can one day achieve that goal, as well,” said Candice Bentley, one of the owners of C&C Gymnastics, and Optional Head Coach.
While Sidney is ready for the next step in her life, the road getting here wasn’t always easy.
“She’s had quite a few injuries over the years and she’s such a determined girl and she has really fought her way to come back after each injury and she’s always had her eyes on the prize and that was to be a Gymdog one day and here she is,” said Sidney’s mother, Missy.
“I had some broken bones, been beaten up by all the equipment…but it’s really made me who I am today and the gymnast that I am today. So, I am thankful for it,” said Sidney.
Sidney definitely has a bright future ahead of her, but she never forgets where she came from.
“I’m so thankful for my teammates and my coaches and my parents for supporting me and just keeping me going through all of the years of my gymnastics,” said Sidney.
“She works hard in the gym, she is a fierce competitor, she really strives to achieve an excellence, any little girl would look up to that,” said Bentley.
Sidney will start competing at UGA next year.