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Perham Area Special Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastic Girls Dazzle at Area 4 Meet

Front: Melissa Barvels. Back L-R: Amber Donahue, Crystal Miller, Kelsie Heitkamp, Amanda Wothe. Submitted photo.

PERHAM — The Perham Area Special Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastic team traveled to Alexandria Saturday to compete at the Area 4 Gymnastics meet.

Perham Area Special Olympics Gymnastics has been a sport offered for 11 years now in Perham.

This year Perham had five (5) rhythmic gymnasts competing: Melissa Barvels (Level B); Kelsie Heitkamp (Level 1); Amber Donahue and Crystal Miller (Level 2); and Amanda Wothe (Level 3). Along with the athletes, Perham traveled with four long-time qualified coaches: Corinne Schattschneider, Linda Barvels, Tammy Wothe and Maggie Wothe.

Each girl competed in the Level that fits their skill and abilities. Each level increases in difficulty of movement, balance and technique. Melissa Barvels who is a wheelchair athlete competed in the Level A last year and has now advanced up to Level B.

The Perham girls have been training and working very hard since the season started in February and on Saturday it truly showed and shined when it came time for the awards ceremony.

Melissa Barvels  and  Kelsie Heitkamp (competed in Rope, Hoop, Ball, Ribbon, All Around) took home Five (5) Blue 1st Ribbons. Amber Donahue  and Crystal Miller (competed in Hoop, Clubs, Ball, Ribbon, All Around), Amber Donahue took home five (5) 1st in ball and 4th home five (5) 1st  place Ribbon; Miller took 2nd  in ribbon, clubs and all around, 3rd  in hoop. Amanda Wothe (competed in Rope, Clubs, Ball, Ribbon, All Around) and took on place blue ribbons.

With the MN Special Olympics State games this June 27-28 in Stillwater, it is with great excitement that with all the blue ribbons won this weekend by the Perham Rhythmic gymnastic girls will be state game bound.

If you are interested in joining the Perham Area team,  as an athlete or coach we are always welcome to new athletes and new help. To join the team, contact : Corinne Schattschneider at 218-758-3138 or by email at

About Special Olympics Minnesota

Special Olympics Minnesota offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Through Special Olympics’ athletic, health and leadership programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world.