Gymnastics club takes part in Australian competition

Members of the Island Acro Gymnastics club in Fiji after creating history by taking part in the Australian National Clubs Carnival in Gold Coast. Picture: SUPPLIED

Island Acro Gymnastics Club in Fiji created history by taking part in the Australian National Clubs Carnival in Gold Coast earlier this month.

Six gymnasts from the ages of 10-14 years old and Coach Michelle Fink competed in the TeamGym competition and took part in the Australian Gym for Life Challenge.

Coach Fink said “TeamGym” consists of three disciplines —Tumbling, Trampoline and Floor.

“The girls walked away with a silver medal in this event and not that this was also the first time for our gymnast to use an actual gymnastics mini tramp,” she said.

“In the Gym for Life Challenge, teams were evaluated on a performance gymnastic routine. For our performance, we integrated aspects of Fijian and Pacific culture into our gymnastics choreography and performed this routine three times over two days.

“We received very positive feedback from evaluators and spectators on the uniqueness of our performance.

“Shammah Titifanue is 14 years old and has been dancing since she was very young. She started doing gymnastics four years ago and has since then taken part in multiple local events and two international gymnastics events. One-year-ago Shammah started volunteering for Island Acro helping out during classes inspiring our younger gymnasts.

“Isabella Knecht is 14 years old. She first started dancing and doing gymnastics at four years old. She has participated in the Australian National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival twice and was a part of Gymnaestrada in Austria in 2019. She has been volunteering with the Island Acro gymnastics after school program at her school (International school Nadi) as a part of her Service of action.

“Lilyana O’Connor, 11 years old started both dance and gymnastics three years ago. She really enjoyed her gymnastics and decided to put all her focus towards gymnastics. Lily has since then participated in local events and two international competitions.

“Xuany Chen, 11 years old, has been doing gymnastics for the last 4 years. She is currently part of two gymnastics clubs in Fiji and represented both at the Australian National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival.

“Jennifer Browne, 11 years old, started doing gymnastics when she was only 7 years old. She is also part of two clubs and does gymnastics four times a week. She has taken part in three international events as well as two online international events.

“Pamela Arriola-Portillo is 10 years old and started doing gymnastics when she was only five years old. Her biggest dream was to do a cartwheel. She has well exceeded those expectations and has now participated in her first international event.”

She added that it was an amazing experience for them, and has ticked off a lot of firsts.

“It was the first time for one of the girls to go overseas, first time in an international competition, first time doing gymnastics on more types of gymnastics equipment.”

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