Winning start for young rhythmic gymnasts
Just a few short months into its life, Olympia Gymnastic Sports Ashburton has already produced its first Canterbury champion.
The club sent a team to the Canterbury Championships last weekend, where Leilani Davis won level three, coming first in hoop and free, with Leah Johnson seventh overall, while in level two Arnica Copland won, after coming first in free and rope. In level one, Marama Harrison was second in free, and fifth overall.
The championships attracted around 200 competitors from all over New Zealand, and it was just the second competitive outing for most of the young gymnasts, the first being a club competition the weekend prior. There, Copland came first in rope, Harrison second over all, Davis third in hoop and Chelsea Sara third in free.
Olympia Gymnastic Sport Ashburton is a satellite club to Christchurch’s Olympia Gymnastic Sport, and general manager Kathryn Searle said Ashburton coach Michelle Smith-Copland had worked tirelessly to get the group up and running, and teaching them all they know.
Smith-Copland said she had no idea if rhythmic would take off in Ashburton, and was surprised and happy at how far the girls had come.
‘‘I wasn’t sure how it would pan out, but I quickly realised there were a lot of capable girls that could compete, so we just went for it really,’’ Smith-Copland said.
The Lion Foundation has recently donated $5000 to the club to go towards the purchase of new mats.
(Back row) Arnica Copland, Georgia Shanks, Leah Johnson, Lelani Davis, Ella Shanks (middle), (front row) Chelsea Sara and Marama Harrison.