Gym­nasts earn their stripes

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TAN­TAU

New Zealand’s old­est gym­nas­tics club has come away with a num­ber of medals from the Mid­lands Gym­nas­tics Com­pe­ti­tion.

The Hamil­ton club, formed in the 1950s, was recog­nised for their ju­niors in­di­vid­ual and team per­for­mances.

Turn and Gym­nas­tic Cir­cle’s Step 1 team, com­prised of Anas­ta­sia Tsat­sas, Hope Schus­ter, Ava El­li­son and OliveRose Ha­puku, re­ceived first place.

Anas­ta­sia was also named the Step 1 Mid­lands Cham­pion in the overs di­vi­sion, as the high­est per­form­ing Step 1 gym­nast.

Step 1 is the term given to the first level of com­pet­i­tive gym­nas­tics.

Head coach Ni­cole Schus­ter said the club was ‘‘over the moon’’ with the re­sults.

‘‘They’ve been to a few com­pe­ti­tions this year, and the one they just had on the week­end was the big one for them.

‘‘All that hard work has paid off - they train five hours a week which is a lot for our lit­tle ones.’’

Ad­di­tional re­sults in­cluded Anas­ta­sia plac­ing third in vault, Hope plac­ing first in vault, first in bar and sec­ond in floor, Alice White­head plac­ing sec­ond in bar and Ruby McCluskie plac­ing first in beam.

‘‘Kids love to flip around, they love to get on the bars and jump on the tram­po­line.

‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing. You can’t ask for a bet­ter sport,’’ Schus­ter said.

Anas­ta­sia and Ava, both 7, said their favourite thing about the gym was the bouncy floors and the bar equip­ment. Olive-Rose

‘‘It's ex­cit­ing. You can't ask for a bet­ter sport.’’

said she liked her coaches.

Turn and Gym­nas­tic Cir­cle is run from an old church on Rid­out St, Hamil­ton.

Schus­ter said they have out­grown the build­ing, with classes full and kids on a wait­ing list. They hope to move to a new venue.

‘‘We want as many kids as pos­si­ble be­cause we know the ben­e­fits they get out of gym­nas­tics.

‘‘It’s a foun­da­tional sport. Kids learn skills that they can trans­fer into other sports.’’

Gym­nas­tics can help de­velop mo­tor skills, safe land­ing, bal­ance, co-or­di­na­tion, spa­tial aware­ness, flex­i­bil­ity and strength, Schus­ter said. ‘‘The list goes on. ‘‘We want to cater for the de­mand... we have a com­mit­tee work­ing on mak­ing this hap­pen.’’

Ava El­li­son, Anas­ta­sia Tsat­sas, Hope Schus­ter and Olive-Rose Ha­pukuare are Step 1 Mid­lands cham­pi­ons.

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