TWIRLING, leaping, bending and balancing, all while remaining elegant and composed — that’s the tall order for these young athletes.
The Victorian rhythmic gymnastic team, aged between 14 and 18, attend classes fulltime while training for 20 hours each week before and after school.
All their hard work will be on show at the 2017 Australian Gymnastics Championships, which kick off this week.
Starting her gym career when she was five years old, Yingcui Chan, now 16, is the top ranked gymnast in Victoria and she is setting her sights high for her events.
“I am aiming to make the national squad and hopefully I’ll get to be in the Commonwealth Games shadow squad,” the young gymnast said.
“Gymnastics gives me really great sense of satisfaction and I like training, competing and performing.”
State team head coach Emma Tankovich said the girls were looking good for the national meet* after a strong start to the year, including a training trip to the US.
“The girls have all had a good preparation and are progressing, injury free,” Mrs Tankovich said.
“Being so isolated* we don’t have too many competitions in Australia so going to America this year was good for them all.”
While the young women Mrs Tankovich trains are very strong, it is the way they combine their strength with movement and dance that has her excited.
“It’s not pure power or strength, it’s a combination of all the elements,” coach Tankovich said.
“It’s an enjoyable sport to watch with a lot of elements.”
The 2017 Australian Gymnastics Championship are on at Hisense Arena until Sunday June 4.
isolated: far away from others
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
Activity 1. Talented gymnasts
In a paragraph, describe the skills, talent and commitment required to be a top young gymnast in Victoria.
Where and when can you witness the talent of these young gymnasts?
Would you be able to fit 20 hours of training in around school every week?
Write a weekly schedule for these young gymnasts including school, training and some possible family and social commitments that most families have.
Time: Allow 20 minutes to complete this task.
Curriculum links: English
Activity 2. Gymnastics 101
Watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVGwelqBSQ8 and see which of the core gymnastics skills you can master!
Make sure you use a mat or a soft surface to do a somersault.
Get a partner to score you out of 10 for each move then you score them.
Research some more advanced gymnastics skills and give them a go.
Time: Allow 20 minutes to have fun with this task.
Curriculum links: Health and Physical Education, Personal and Social
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)
Use the opening words from the story about these young athletes to brainstorm things that could be described in this way. Twirling, leaping, bending and balancing.
Repeat the above activity, using the words elegant and composed.
Finally use power and strength which appears towards the end of the article to brainstorm things that could be described in this way.
Use the descriptive words above to write a free verse poem about one, or some of the things you described.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Big Write and VCOP