Girls raise the bar in gymnastics
Horsham’s Kayla Kelm and Hailey Puls have qualified for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Senior Victorian Championships after winning selection against tough competition at a trial in Melbourne.
The Natimuk and District Gymnastic Club national level-seven girls will now compete against the state’s elite at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre next month.
Kelm competed in an under-14 age category, while Puls and teammate Brooklyn Fraser, of Natimuk, competed in an open section. Kelm placed first on vault. Natimuk head coach Lynette Morrow praised the girls for their commitment to the sport, which she said required hours of training to be competitive.
She said this was the first time in about 15 years the club had taken a team of girls to Victorian trials.
“Our club transitioned from a state program to a national program about three years ago,” she said.
“This lifted the standard of gymnastics across the region and opened up more opportunities for our girls in the club.
“At level seven, Hailey, Kayla and Brooklyn competed against some of the best senior gymnasts in the state.
“They should be extremely proud of their achievements – I am.”
Morrow said the girls put in many hours of training, but not as many as their city competitors.
“The girls put a lot of time and effort into their training, and their skill level is a testament to their dedication,” she said.
“I know they do not do as many hours as other clubs demand at that level, but the results speak for themselves.
“The girls have really exciting.”
Kelm placed first on vault, fifth qualified. It’s on beam, seventh on ninth on uneven bars.
Puls finished fifth on beam, sixth on vault, eighth on floor and 18th on uneven bars, while Fraser was consistent across all apparatus, finishing 14th on uneven bars, 15th on floor, 17th on beam and 18th on vault.
“The girls were fantastic, and now we need to lift for the championships,” Morrow said.
The senior Victorian championships run across three days, from April 27. floor and
“Our club transitioned from a state program to a national program about three years ago. This lifted the standard of gymnastics across the region” – Lynette Morrow
STEP UP: Natimuk and District Gymnastic Club gymnasts, from left, Hailey Puls, Brooklyn Fraser and Kayla Kelm competed in national level-seven state trials earlier this month. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER