Gym­nast flexes on to world stage

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - MID-YEAR ADJUSTMENT -

A LO­CAL teenager has rep­re­sented Australia in an in­ter­na­tional gym­nas­tics com­pe­ti­tion, re­turn­ing with in­spi­ra­tion for her­self and her fel­low gym­nasts.

Aer­o­bic gym­nast El­yse Palmer (17), who trains in Bel­mont, com­peted at the 8th World Age Group Aer­o­bic Gym­nas­tics World Cham­pi­onships in Guimaraes, Por­tu­gal, last month.

For El­yse, Por­tu­gal was more an op­por­tu­nity to break the dam for WA gym­nasts to com­pete in­ter­na­tion­ally than to win.

“It’s like if one per­son from WA makes it, then oth­ers can too,” she said.

“Hav­ing me over there was great be­cause I could take videos and bring it back to WA to say ‘this is how we have to change to mix it in with the big guns’.

“It was a great per­spec­tive to watch other coun­tries and see how big aer­o­bic gym­nas­tics could be in the fu­ture.”

Aer­o­bic gym­nas­tics is a rhythm-based, high in­ten­sity per­for­mance sport and is the most re­cent dis­ci­pline of gym­nas­tics to have a com­pet­i­tive pro­gram.

Dun­craig res­i­dent Cairo Leicester, who com­peted at the World Cham­pi­onships in Seoul in 2016, said the com­mu­nity was grow­ing and hoped WA would con­tinue to send lo­cal gym­nasts to in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions.

“When I first started, Spir­its Gym was the only club of­fer­ing an aer­o­bic gym­nas­tics pro­gram,” she said.

“The Aus­tralian team in aer­o­bic gym­nas­tics has his­tor­i­cally had a strong pres­ence of WA ath­letes.

“Although we’ve moved into a new gen­er­a­tion of coaches and ath­letes in re­cent years, it’s nice to still have a WA pres­ence in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

Aer­o­bic gym­nas­tics pro­gram are of­fered at Spir­its Gym Sports in Bel­mont, North­ern Districts Gym­nas­tics Club in Bal­catta and Col­lege Park Gym­nas­tics Academy in Joon­dalup.

Na­dia Budi­hardjo

Pic­ture: Ivan Fer­reira

El­yse Palmer in ac­tion at the re­cent World Cham­pi­onships.

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