Gymnasts set the bar high

ADULT GYMNASTS AWARDED: Some of the adult gymnasts, Chloe McBride, Nicky Dutton, Kelly Wauchope, Steph Lunn, Mel Maywald, Yvette Caddy and Ellen Crisp, with the award won recently.
ADULT GYMNASTS AWARDED: Some of the adult gymnasts, Chloe McBride, Nicky Dutton, Kelly Wauchope, Steph Lunn, Mel Maywald, Yvette Caddy and Ellen Crisp, with the award won recently.

The high standards and achievements of Port Pirie Regional Gymnastics Academy's adult gymnasts have seen the group awarded by Gymnastics SA.

At the state organisation's awards night, the local academy won the Gymnastics for All Active Participation Award as well as being nominated for Small Club of the Year.

The academy boasts a group of women adult gymnasts in addition to its extensive number of athletes in WAG and MAG divisions.

Its trailblazing group of women have been part of the Gymnastics for All program for four years but the group has been active now for seven.

Kelly Wauchope, one of the group's gymnasts, said the competition was fun and relaxed and that Port Pirie had a positive impact on adult gymnastics.

"People say that we are the team to beat," she said.

"At every event, we have big numbers, we are very vocal, we support each other and we cheer each other on."

The group has now run a masters event at the Port Pirie invitational event, held on the October long weekend, for a few years.

Having the masters at Port Pirie gave it a fresh feel, Kelly said.

Mel Maywald, another of the adult gymnasts, said they had a supportive team.

She said a majority of their women didn't have a gymnastics background.

Despite this, the group of women have put Port Pirie on a pedestal and have brought new life into adult gymnastics.

"We work really hard," Mel said.

Mel and Kelly said it was the high standards of the entire academy that saw the adult gymnastics group have the positive impact it has had.

"We don't know any different," Kelly said of the academy's high standards.

"We build women up, we don't tear them down - that's us," Mel said.

We build women up, we don't tear them down - that's us.

Mel Maywald

They pair, also coaches with the academy, said they had more respect for gymnasts now that they were competitors.

In return, they said gymnasts had more respect for them as well.

"It's makes us a better coach. It gives us more understanding," Kelly said.

The gymnastics academy now hopes to expand its adult competition to include men as well.

A come-and-try day for adult men's gymnastics is being held next Tuesday, March 5, at the aquatic and leisure centre at 6pm.