Gym­nast son takes reins

Wanneroo Times - - Fit For Business -

IT was al­ways go­ing to be hard for Val Nor­ris-Buffham and hus­band Ken Nor­ris to leave the Jan­dakot academy they built to­gether, con­sid­er­ing the ef­fort they put into mak­ing it suc­cess­ful.

In late 2014 Mrs Nor­ris-Buffham, a dual Olympian, promised a trip to Sin­ga­pore for the Prime Gym­nas­tics In­ter­na­tional In­vi­ta­tional was to be her last over­seas trip as head coach of Olympic Fun and Fit­ness.

In her words, she was pass­ing the ba­ton and eas­ing off from a role she had held for four decades.

Fast-for­ward two years and the pair was fi­nally able to take that well-earned break when their son Damien Nor­ris, a Mel­bournebased lawyer and for­mer na­tional cham­pion gym­nast, de­cided it was time to come home and lead the busi­ness at the end of 2016.

It was a great re­sult, with the Mur­doch cou­ple hav­ing con­sid­ered clos­ing it down.

“It blew us away. We were very pleased,” Mrs Nor­ris-Buffham said. “He's up­dated ev­ery­thing. “I said to him I now know how top ath­letes feel when they drop out.

“But it got to the stage where the up­dates were needed. ”

Mrs Nor­ris-Buffham, who com­peted at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and the Mex­ico Games four years later, said she had not stepped back into the academy since hand­ing over the reins.

Damien said a lot of the changes were cos­metic, with a move to au­to­mated sys­tems and a big­ger on­line pres­ence. The academy has also in­tro­duced its “Wild­ing Project”, a move into park­our, free run­ning and nat­u­ral move­ment.

Damien said there had been a shift from gyms with dumb­bells and weights to gyms that fo­cused more on ex­panded body move­ment.

For in­for­ma­tion, visit www.olympic­fun­fit­

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey­mu­ni­ d428663

Val Nor­ris-Buffham with gym­nast Irina Hong (10).

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