Gym­nas­tics tak­ing off

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - CLASSIFIEDS - By CORAL COOKSLEY

FLIPS, bal­anc­ing on bars and jump­ing vaults are some of the ac­tiv­i­ties for older chil­dren in a new gym­nas­tics club that started up in Beech­worth six months ago.

A big hit for chil­dren in the area, Indigo Gym­nas­tics that be­gan in July this year has soared to a 90-strong co­hort of tod­dlers to 13 year-olds since then.

With a pro­fes­sional gym­nas­tics back­ground at state level in Canada, founder Erin Machuk who is also a phys­io­ther­a­pist, said she was pas­sion­ate about the club hav­ing a good cul­ture with re­spect and kind­ness for chil­dren.

“It’s one of the rea­sons I started the club from my own one for my daugh­ters when we lived in Queens­land,” Ms Machuk said.

“We’re try­ing to do things a lit­tle dif­fer­ently in the club with goal set­ting and chil­dren be­ing in­volved in their skill de­vel­op­ment where they have a voice.”

Ms Machuk said gym­nasts were taught risk tak­ing in a safe en­vi­ron­ment with guid­ance from pro­fes­sional coaches.

“We work on mind­set too where kids can see how pow­er­ful they are and what they can do,” she said.

“My aim is for the club to be a place where peo­ple at all ages can get ac­tive, have fun and pro­vide an­other com­mu­nity and so­cial space.”

A good foun­da­tion for other sports and in­jury preven­tion, Ms Machuk who is com­bin­ing her phys­io­ther­apy skills in teach­ing the sport, said gym­nas­tics at­tracted high level play­ing ath­letes for bal­ance, co­or­di­na­tion, and body aware­ness as well. PHOTO: Coral Cooksley

Gym­nas­tics Vic­to­ria’s Gen­eral Man­ager for Gym­nas­tics De­vel­op­ment, Alyson Lyons said 135 clubs ran across 150 venues in Vic­to­ria with eight clubs in the North East re­gion.

With an av­er­age of ten per cent growth ev­ery year for last decade Ms Lyons said the sport had in­creased by 24 per cent over the last 12 months.

“Among fac­tors con­trib­uted to growth is that gym­nas­tics pro­vides a safe en­vi­ron­ment for chil­dren to de­velop fun­da­men­tal move­ment skills,” she said.

“The na­tional fo­cus on get­ting more kids ac­tive and mov­ing to re­duce child hood obe­sity and cre­ate life­long phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity trends has cer­tainly en­cour­aged par­ents to con­sider gym­nas­tics as a sport for their chil­dren too.”

The club scored well in com­pe­ti­tions this year too.

At an Au­gust in­vi­ta­tional com­pe­ti­tion held in Shep­par­ton and one held the fol­low­ing month in Moyhu, Indigo Gym­nas­tics’ 10 year-old Kate Cun­ning­ham and nine year-old places in their cat­e­gories for

Among other com­peti­tors who gained places were 11 year-old Elora Pren­tice, and six year-old Lexi Cun­ning­ham.

Ms Machuk said the club lo­cated at the Montes­sori school is on the look­out for a per­ma­nent larger space to cater for ad­di­tional pro­grams and age groups.

Ses­sions that run on Mon­days from 3.30pm to 6.30pm for 5 to 13 year olds, and Tues morn­ings for 18 month to 5 years olds get back into ac­tion at the school term start next year.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the club visit­di­gogym­nas­

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