A LOCAL teenager has represented Australia in an international gymnastics competition, returning with inspiration for herself and her fellow gymnasts.
Aerobic gymnast Elyse Palmer (17), who trains in Belmont, competed at the 8th World Age Group Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships held in Guimarães, Portugal last month.
For Elyse, Portugal was more an opportunity to break the dam for WA gymnasts to compete internationally than to win.
“It’s like, if one person from WA makes it, then others can too,” she said.
“Having me over there was great because I could take videos and bring it back to WA to say, ‘this is how we have to change to mix it in with the big guns’.
“It was great perspective to watch other countries and see how big aerobic gymnastics could be in the future.”
Aerobic gymnastics is a rhythm based, high intensity performance sport and is the most recent discipline of gymnastics to have a competitive program.
Duncraig resident Cairo Leicester, who competed at the World Championships in Seoul in 2016, said the community was growing and hoped WA would continue to send local gymnasts to international competitions.
“When I first started, Spirits Gym was the only club offering an aerobic gymnastics program,” she said.
“The Australian team in aerobic gymnastics has historically had a strong presence of WA athletes.
“Although we’ve moved into a new generation of coaches and athletes in recent years, it’s nice to still have WA presence internationally, being so isolated over here.”
Aerobic gymnastics program are offered at Spirits Gym Sports in Belmont, Northern Districts Gymnastics Club in Balcatta and College Park Gymnastics Academy in Joondalup.