Adin Brenner wins gold at Indo Pacific Championships

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, November 1 2016

Fifteen-year-old Gabriolan Adin Brenner won gold at the Indo Pacific Championships for trampoline and tumbling and took the title in the ages 15 to16 years double mini event. He and his coach Megan Conway train at the Nanaimo Gymnastics School and made the trip together to Napier, New Zealand, to represent Gymnastics Canada at the event on October 24, 2016.

“I’ve never won anything like this. It’s a big accomplishment and I’ve worked every moment at the gym and at home. I think about it all the time,” says Brenner.

This is the highest level of international meet available in Brenner’s age category. He also placed 13th in the World Gymnastics event in Denmark in January of this year.

Adin Brenner on approach to a mini-trampoline at the 2016 Indo-Pacific Championships in Napier, New Zealand. Brenner brought a gold medal home, as part of Team Canada. The silver went to a fellow Canadian, Kai Dwyer of Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy GymSports New Zealand


Brenner admits he’s a bit tired now the competition is over. When asked how he was able to win, he said, “I watched what other people did and then I adapted and changed things.”

“Basically, he increased his difficulty over the past year. Because he’s moved up an age category he was aware he’d have to do that,” says Conway.

“Adin has been working hard to make some upgrades to his routines, he set many new personal bests including landing the highest difficulty pass he’s ever attempted, his best single pass score and his best four pass total, all of which helped him earn the gold medal,” says Conway.

A pass, as it was explained by Brenner’s mother Mara, involves running and jumping on a trampoline, doing a trick to jump on and another trick to jump off. “There are different skills for each of those tricks that are high difficulty and high execution. Like diving, you get a difficulty and an execution score and they’re combined.”

The double mini trampoline event is Adin’s favourite. “I knew he had a shot,” says Mara. “I didn’t want to say it out loud. I went and bought champagne and I’ve never done that before.”

Mara talks about how Adin has had the added challenge of diabetes in his life since the age of two. “Diabetes is a gigantic struggle. It’s a big challenge. It’s taught him so much about how to fight. The silver lining for this one is that he doesn’t let one bad blood sugar get him down.”

Mara says that winning the Indo Pacific Championship is Adin’s biggest accomplishment so far. She says the Indo Pacific Games include all the countries that touch the Indian and Pacific Ocean. “They did play the anthem for him. It was his first anthem.”

The three medalists. Gold: Adin Brenner of Gabriola. Silver: Kai Dwyer of Nova Scotia. Bronze: Onke Mangele of South Africa. Photo courtesy GymSports New Zealand 

“He won by quite a bit,” Mara says. “There were 11 people at his event and those have qualified from thousands from their countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. No one from Japan was in his group. 

“His real competition was from the Canadians. Another Canadian took second place. He’s from a little town in Nova Scotia. You have two kids on either end of the country coming together in another part of the world. It’s neat to think of our boys being so big and so capable.”

In addition to the championship title, Brenner helped Team Canada attain a third place finish in the team event. 

He has been a British Columbia champion in both artistic and trampoline gymnastics. 

During the last eight years he has earned many championship titles.

The family is grateful for the all the community support that has allowed Adin to compete. “It’s expensive and not a lot of families have the support from the community that we have here. The biggest help has been from people booking airline tickets with their points for him.” 

Next year, Adin will travel to Calgary, Ontario, Quebec and Bulgaria for the World Age Group Competition in 2017. During the last ten years, Adin has completed 10,000 hours of training.

He trains four hours a day and also attends Nanaimo District Secondary School. He has sacrificed a lot to be a high performance athlete but maintains an A and B average at school. 

“Coming from a small island, missing time makes it difficult to make friends,” says Mara. “But Adin’s best experience has been with Andrea McCluckie at the Gathering Place. It’s a great program.”

Brenner and Conway will return from New Zealand on November 4, 2016.

Mara says, “I think he amazes me. I know he’ll do what he sets out to do. He always does his best and rises and it affects all the others parts of his life. It’s about how your sport teaches you to win, and that’s the truth.”

“It’s a really big deal and it’s still sinking in. He can’t wait to go to the gym. If there’s a day he doesn’t have training, he’s disappointed. He loves to go.”