Li-lou Burns Gillet from Sunshine Coast Rhythmic Gymnastics (Caloundra).
Li-lou Burns Gillet from Sunshine Coast Rhythmic Gymnastics (Caloundra). Contributed

Coast gymnastics clubs spring into awards night

THREE Coast gymnastics associations have received awards at the recent Gymnastics Queensland's Annual Awards Dinner.

Gymnastics Queensland CEO Kym Dowdell said the awards dinner was an opportunity to identify the outstanding performances of clubs, athletes, coaches, judges and volunteers.

"Our clubs and members worked incredibly hard in 2018 and it is due to their hard work we can proudly say we have just short of 55,000 athletes across the state, which is a new record for gymnastics in Queensland," she said.

AWARD WINNING: Maroochy Beach Gymnastics Club Level 4 athletes are delighted to win awards.
AWARD WINNING: Maroochy Beach Gymnastics Club Level 4 athletes are delighted to win awards. Contributed

Maroochy Beach Gymnastics Association won several awards including: Club Promotion and Community Engagement Award, Club Facility Development Award, Membership Award (Club 1000) and a Hosting Award.

The club has had its fair share of ups and downs, but after a cracking 2018 they're on a roller coaster going up.

Devastated by a fire in 2017 the club has achieved great things in the past year.

Maroochy Beach Gymnastics Association club administrator Lyn Moorley said there were many reasons for receiving the awards.

"The Club Facility Developed Award was for the relocation from the temporary Kunda Park site to our state of the art facility on Wises Rd.

"Membership numbers attracted growth, and we hosted regional championships too. There were the Isle of Man training sessions that were in preparation for the Commonweath games."

Ms Moorley said the venue was also used for cross training and community sporting groups.

With 1000 memberships it means the club is under the extra large club category.

"So we were vying against the top clubs in Quensland.

"We were very grateful to receive what we did.

"We started with around 750 members at the beginning of 2018 and at the end we just over 1000."

Ms Moorley said "it's a big accolade to the building committee who worked so hard that the club would continue operation" after the inferno almost two years ago.

Receiving several awards shows the gymnastics association had a successful 2018 with high hopes for the new year.

Dekoda Edwards from Sunshine Coast Rhythmic Gymnastics (Caloundra).
Dekoda Edwards from Sunshine Coast Rhythmic Gymnastics (Caloundra). Contributed

For the Sunshine Coast Rhythmic Gymnastics in Caloundra what started as a club of six now has more than 100 gymnasts.

The association won a Membership Growth Award and the club's sectary Julia Edwards said 2019 is going to be even bigger than the previous year.

"It's a not-for-profit club and we've done so well - we opened up just 12 months ago.

"We're growing and that was just the first year, we've got so much more to achieve," she said.

The club is full for Term 1 but has began a waiting list.

Vanessa Gillet is the head coach of the club, but with the incline in numbers it's time to include another instructor.

"Vanessa's a highly qualified coast, she's the best on the coast.

"We're now on the hunt for a fully qualified coach to expand our club even more," said the club sectary.

After a year of training three young athletes from the club will be at international level this year.

Li-Lou Burns Gillet, Dekoda Edwards both 11 and Isabella Slavin, 9 won multiple awards in 2018 and are gearing up to go global.

"They have been training five days a week these holidays, with competition starting in February.

"They've been training so hard but they love it. It's their second home," said Ms Edwards.

With the rapid growth in numbers it's no wonder the club was recognised for an award.

AWARD WINNER: Sunshine Coast PCYC head gymnastics instructor Clare George and Greg Hill (Gymnastics Australia Chief Operating Officer).
AWARD WINNER: Sunshine Coast PCYC head gymnastics instructor Clare George and Greg Hill (Gymnastics Australia Chief Operating Officer). Contributed

The third club to receive recognition was Nambour's Sunshine Coast PCYC was awarded with a Membership Growth Award and Performance Club Of The Year.

An increase in members and new style of gymnastics were the catalyst for the club's awards.

Sunshine Coast PCYC head gymnastics instructor Clare George said the growth in membership was due to relocating.

"We had 70 members in a very small gymnastics hall upstairs, but once approved for a grant in 2017 we moved to a bigger hall," said the head coach.

At the end of 2018 PCYC had a total of 353 members.

"I was the only coach at the beginning with 70 kids, and we now have five coaches. The coaches work really hard. It's a passion sport and passion job.

"It's really nice to enjoy the job you're in and they all do, a big kudos to all the coaches that have come board," said Ms George.

By introducing FreeG freestyle gymnastics, which includes parkour and freerunning, it has allowed more males to become interested in the sport.

Parkour is often performed by professionals in outdoor environments, meaning it can be a dangerous activity to try.

By bringing FreeG to PCYC there's more room to learn in a safe environment.

"We have the soft mats and plenty of coaching. If someone falls, it's a soft landing. Because of it we've increased the membership of boys from about 10-15 to 90 in about six months. It's not just for boys though, it's open to everyone," said Ms George.



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