Small steps to conquer fears

Gymnast and Mount Lawley Senior High School Year 12 student Vanessa Vlajkovic (16, Dianella) with her coach Michelle Ranieri [NAMES OK]
Gymnast and Mount Lawley Senior High School Year 12 student Vanessa Vlajkovic (16, Dianella) with her coach Michelle Ranieri [NAMES OK]

Six years later, at the age of eight, her beautiful child Vanessa, now 16, was diagnosed with hearing loss.

Despite her challenges, Vanessa chose physical education as part of her Year 11 studies at Mount Lawley High School and became involved in gymnastics. She practises once a week with 25-year-old coach and Auslan interpreter Michelle Ranieri.

‘I do a lot of demonstrating and hands on work until she feels confident to try the skill on her own,’ Ms Ranieri said.

‘Vanessa did not just launch into it, she had her hesitations and her confidence was built by taking small steps.’

Vanessa talked to the Express through Ms Ranieri by using a combination of spoken English and Auslan (sign language).

She said gymnastics did not scare her, 95 per cent of the time.

‘I just forget my fears because it is just something I do without thinking’