The Willow Wind Community Learning Center student is kicking it up on the soccer field and wowing folks with her kips, a basic skill on the uneven bars, and front flips in gymnastics.

Berkeley Skuratowicz is a strong athlete. The Willow Wind Community Learning Center student is kicking it up on the soccer field and wowing folks with her kips, a basic skill on the uneven bars, and front flips in gymnastics.

In school and sports, Berkeley finds joy in the challenge, and her perseverance is showing great results. Erin Schneider, one of Berkeley's gymnastic coaches at the YMCA, said she marvels at the young athlete's dedication and work.

"She is always a joy to be around," Schneider said. "Berkeley is a very dedicated, hardworking person and she always seems to set goals and make them in gymnastics. She also plays soccer and it is awesome to see her play. Then she comes in here and she is so graceful in gymnastics."

Berkeley took some time during practice to talk with the Daily Tidings and demonstrate some difficult gymnastic moves.

DT: What grade are you going into?

BS: Fourth-grade.

DT: How old are you?

BS: I'm almost 9 years old.

DT: What are your favorite subjects in school?

BS: Art, science and P.E. I like art because I'm really good at drawing and it's fun. I guess the same goes for science and P.E.

DT: What do you like to do outside of school?

BS: Read, climb trees, play with my sister, play with my friends, play soccer and surf on the computer.

DT: Talk about gymnastics.

BS: I've been in gymnastics since I was 5 years old. I started doing rolls around the house and then my mom decided that I should go to gymnastics instead of dance. Gymnastics is fun and I like competing, and I like to do something that's sometimes difficult. I've made a lot of friends in gymnastics and have known them for a long time. This summer, I'm working on my skills to move up to level 6.

DT: What do you like most about gymnastics?

BS: Doing front flips, kips and back handsprings.

DT: What do you like least?

BS: Getting hurt and doing really hard conditioning.

DT: Do you have trouble balancing school and your outside interests?

BS: Kind of, because I'm in gymnastics practice three hours a day, for three days a week, and I also have soccer in the fall and spring.

DT: What do you want to do when you grow up?

BS: I would like to be a gymnastics teacher and a pilot and a geologist.

DT: Tell us about something you have done that makes you proud.

BS: Getting good grades at school.

DT: Talk about something that is challenging for you.

BS: I don't really like to do my math and writing homework.

DT: Tell us about someone in your family who makes you proud.

BS: My dad makes me proud because he's teaching me to be excellent at math.