Meet the Tumbling Twins, Cameron and Madison Bates, the current 2015 State Regional Level 4 Elite, 1st (Madison) and 2nd (Cameron) all around champions for Gymnastics. These two incredible, intelligent nine-year-old fraternal twins are bubbling with energy and charm, and are rarely standing still. According to their mother, Melissa Bates, they have been constantly moving their whole lives–even in the womb! They even have their own Facebook page, the Tumbling Twins, where they regularly post videos and pictures of their explorations around town. Perhaps you’ve seen them?
Madison and Cameron are the daughters of Melissa and Jon Bates, fitness guru and owner of Addicted to Fitness, who was featured earlier in Naples Noteworthy. In June of 2015 they traveled Las Vegas for the AAU National Championships all arounds, where Madison took 1st place and Cameron took 3rd for level 3. In the 2014 Orlando State Meet, Madison took 1st on Rod Floor and Cameron was 1st on Double Mini Trampoline.
The twins have been competing since the age of 5. They started out in Level 2 and will finish this year at Level 6 (out of 10 possible Levels). They also have competed state level for Tumbling and Trampoline. Gymnastics consists of Bars, Beam, Floor and Vault and Tumbling & Trampoline consists of the Rod Floor, Double Mini Trampoline and Trampoline.
For the competition season of 2016 & 2017 they will be adding more Tumbling & Trampoline meets.
The girls spend a lot of time training, attending gymnastics Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They train at Naples Progressive Gymnastics in Naples. They go directly after school and train for 3 hours on those days. On Friday they do 2 hours of Tumbling & Trampoline and have to option to stay till 9:00 pm if they desire. They are currently doing 9 to 12 hours a week along with school, where they are both in the fourth grade at Sea Gate Elementary School.
Their next competition is September 10th where they will compete at Level 5 and if they score over a 32 they will automatically move to level 6. At this level they get to select their floor music and have their own personalized bar and beam routine to work on for the January 2017 season.
As you will see from the interview, the girls already have Olympic aspirations and want to be gymnastic trainers when they grow up. Naples Noteworthy thought it would be interesting to follow them over the coming years, featuring them each summer and watching how they grow and change. So this is our first interview with Naples’ famous Tumbling Twins.
Naples Noteworthy: Could each of you answer, in your own words, what you think about gymnastics and why you decided to spend so much time doing it and competing?
Cameron: I love gymnastics because you get to flip and twirl and I love to get to do that and you get to achieve your goals.
Madison: I love it when it is time to practice for all the meets because when you win you know your hard work paid off.
Naples Noteworthy: Do you have any hobbies or activities you like to do besides gymnastics?
Cameron: I love to go to the skate park with my dad and my sister on Tuesdays, Fridays or Saturday nights. I love to read and my favorite book is every book because they all have an adventure. One game I like to play is Minecraft. It is very fun.
Madison: My favorite book is PIE. I love to skateboard and my favorite games are Minecraft, Slithery, and Bike Race and I like to play Uno with my family and friends.
Naples Noteworthy: Do you have any pets?
Cameron: I have 3 pets, 2 dogs and 1 cat. Snickers is a Yorkie, Harley is a wheaten terrier and Lily is a Himalayan. If I had my choice of any pet, I want a Guinea pig.
Madison: I have 3 pets they are Lily (cat), Harley (dog) and Snickers (dog) and they are all so cute. I want another dog and I want to name it Chocolate Lips.
Naples Noteworthy: What’s it like going to the Addicted to Fitness gym? Do you like it there?
Cameron: I love my dad owning Addicted To Fitness because it helps our family stay fit and healthy. I love going on the stability balls and playing.
Madison: It is fun going to Addicted To Fitness. I get to learn new things and play in the gym. I love going to the gym because my dad is there and I get to see how he trains people because I want to be a trainer at his gym when I grow up.
Naples Noteworthy: What are your favorite subjects in school?
Cameron: My favorite subject in school is science because you can do a lot of fun experiments and you can learn a lot of new things.
Madison: My favorite subject in school is math because I like to learn about numbers.
Naples Noteworthy: What do you want to do when you grow up?
Cameron: When I grow up I want to be a gymnastics coach and go to the Olympics.
Madison: I would like to be a gymnastic coach because I want to be a part of it when I grow up because I love it. I also want to train at my dad’s gym.
Naples Noteworthy: As role models for other children, do you have anything to say to them?
Cameron: I would tell them to listen to the coach and you will like it and just have fun with it. You will LOVE it.
Madison: If you get something wrong, you have to try again and have fun. If it is not fun then do not do it. Always stretch at home a lot, because it helps you.
Naples Noteworthy: When did you first know you wanted to do gymnastics? How young were you?
Cameron: I was 3 when I wanted to start gymnastics. I wanted to start because I loved to flip and jump and I was full of energy.
Madison: I started when I was 3 because I was full of energy.
Naples Noteworthy: Are you going to be interested in trying out for things like cheerleading when you get older, or just gymnastics?
Cameron: Cheerleading… NO WAY
Madison: Heck NO
Naples Noteworthy: What is the most amazing thing you have ever done in gymnastics?
Cameron: I won 1st place 3 times in a row. I learned a Rudy, Giant and a lot of new tricks.
Madison: I learned a Giant on bars and in Tumbling I can do 5 whips in a row.
Naples Noteworthy: What is something you want to be able to do in the future, that you can’t quite do now in gymnastics?
Cameron: Go to the Olympics
Madison: I want to go to the Olympics
Naples Noteworthy: Are there any other sports that interest you?
Naples Noteworthy: Do you watch the Olympics or other sports?
Cameron: Gymnastics, Diving and some Swimming. Skateboarding is coming to the Olympics in 4 years.
Madison: Gymnastics & Diving
Naples Noteworthy: Do you eat junk food? How do you think this affects your performance?
Cameron: On occasion and we burn it off fast.
Madison: Yes… but in the summer we did 8 hours of gymnastics a day.
Naples Noteworthy: For Melissa and Jon, What are your feelings, as parents, regarding your daughters’ gymnastic ambitions? Are you prepared to go with them “all the way”, if that’s what they want? Or what if they decide to drop out? Are you okay with that, too?
Jon and Melissa Bates: We tell them when it is not fun anymore then don’t do it. This competition year will be interesting as to how it unfolds January 2017. They will most likely be the youngest ones on the floor competing. If they decided to drop out then we can keep them active in some other way. Fortunately, they are really looking forward to optional and more Tumbling & Trampoline opportunities. Our biggest challenges have been financial, which is why we have created their Facebook page so that in years to come if they take the road to the Olympics they have marketability behind them for sponsors.
Follow the Twins
You can follow Madison and Cameron on Facebook on their Tumbling Twins page at https://www.facebook.com/Tumblingtwinsnaplesfl/. And you can help their family support their ambitions and do yourself and your body a big favor by joining Addicted to Fitness, 337 Airport Rd S, Naples, Florida 34104, (239) 821-5437. Read our Naples Noteworthy feature, Jon Bates: One of the Naples’ Top Fitness Gurus to learn more about Jon and the fitness center.