The Yass Gymnastics & Swim School came away with ten medals at the 2021 GNSW Junior and Team Gym State Championships from April 9 to 14.

Owner and head coach Michelle Vitler said it’s been about two years since the gymnasts had been able to compete at a state event due to Covid. The 2021 competition was due to be held late last year but was postponed because of restrictions.

“All the girls had an opportunity to compete again, and they held it on the first weekend of the school holidays, which was great for them.”

Yass Gymnasts at GNSW – Level 4 Elyse Shea, Tiana Pidding, Matilda Foster, Rachael Barlow, Chloe Pearce

Of the nine Level 3 and Level 4 gymnasts that competed in the event only three previously had the opportunity to attend the Junior State Championships.

“There were about six of them where this was their first experience. So that was great for them.”

Yass’ athletes’ ages ranged from 11 to 18 years old across both the Junior State and Team Gym Championship groups.

Michelle explained that Junior State is the Level 3 and 4 gymnasts, and Team Gym State Championships is a team event.

Yass Gymnasts at GNSW – Level 3 Coach Zoe Wright, Emily Morey, Grace Green, Georgie Austen, Olivia Dean, Coach Aimee Vitler

The Team Gym came away with a silver and the Level 3 and 4, won three golds, one silver, and five bronze medals.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to go and start competing again because they haven’t competed for so long,” the coach said.

“In a big gym and in a competitive environment the nerves start to kick in, so we try to get them out in front of people as much as we can.”

Michelle said such a large facility, like the Sydney Gymnastics and Aquatic Centre where the event was held, could be quite daunting.

“It can be very daunting for girls that are only used to being in our little gym.”

But despite any possible nerves, Michelle said the girls did an awesome job considering the disrupted competition schedule over the last two years.

TEAMGYM Back row L to R Caydence Sattler, Aimee Vitler, Emma Barlow, Lily Lachlan, Georgie Austen, Olivia Dean. Front row L to R Rachael Barlow, Elyse Shea, Matilda Foster

“They’ve been working hard because we did have the break over Christmas and New Year as well and then we had the shutdown at the end of last year,” she said. “They’ve had to really work hard in a short timeframe, to have the skills and their routines up to scratch for this event.”

Our gymnasts are back to training for their next competition on May 1 at both Woden Valley in Canberra and Dubbo.

Located at St Augustine’s Hall next to St Vinnies on Meehan Street, Yass Gymnastics are currently taking enrolments for Term 2 as their holiday program wraps up after Easter.

By Brianna O’Rourke