Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

REP­RE­SENT­ING Aus­tralia at the ANAC In­ter­na­tional cham­pi­onships in San Diego would be daunt­ing for most 10-year-olds, but not for Re­becca Os­borne.

The pint-sized gym­nast will travel to the US next month with her Spirit Gym­sports head coach Sa­man­tha Elk­ing­ton and fel­low com­peti­tor Zoe Tisdale (23).

“When they both got se­lected in May, the ex­cite­ment was in­cred­i­ble – I even think lit­tle Becky screamed,” Ms Elk­ing­ton said.

“This is her first time com­pet­ing for Aus­tralia, so it is a re­ally big achieve­ment to be cho­sen.

“Zoe has been com­pet­ing for Aus­tralia since she was 14 years old. We have a buddy sys­tem, so if any­thing goes wrong, she is def­i­nitely al­ways there. Zoe is like Becky’s big sis­ter.”

Spirit Gym­sports trains at the Su­bi­aco PCYC, Lof­tus Recre­ational Cen­tre and the State Gym­nas­tics Cen­tre in West Leed­erville.

Ms Elk­ing­ton said there was a lot of prepa­ra­tion for the in­ter­na­tional cham­pi­onships.

“It can be a lit­tle over­whelm­ing, es­pe­cially for Becky since it’s not com­mon to send elite ath­letes at such a young age,” the for­mer na­tional cham­pion said.

“The next few weeks will mean a lot of men­tal prepa­ra­tion, get­ting her ready for that ex­cite­ment and mak­ing sure she’s calm enough to com­pete but still amped up enough to do her best.

“The great­est chal­lenge is bal­anc­ing school­work, so­cial life, work if they have a job, univer­sity.

“But the achieve­ments al­ways out­weigh it. It all pays off.

“I’m so proud of my ath­letes.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d439284

Fly­ing high: Coach Sa­man­tha Elk­ing­ton, with Zoe Tisdale, Giveney How and Re­becca Os­borne, celebrate their se­lec­tion for an in­ter­na­tional in San Diego.

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