Winning gymnasts

By David Kavanagh | posted on August 25, 2019

ALBANY PCYC Gymnastics Club’s first stint at the big league competitions in Perth in July and August has paid off, with its young competitors taking home top prizes at two state events.

Head Coach Michelle Headley said 2019 marked the first time the club had branched out and competed against gymnastic clubs on a national level in Perth.

“We’ve done really well, we’re really impressed,” she told the Weekender.

“We knew we had some girls that were talented and that we would be competitive even though we lacked the big facilities compared to the Perth groups.”

Albany PCYC’s level three girls Keira Armstrong, Amelia Fish and Ruby Welsh came out on top at a team-only event, winning gold and achieving the highest score overall.

Ms Headley said the historic feat was made more meaningful by the fact the centre’s team was comprised of only three competitors, the minimum required to take part.

“We had the minimum number against other clubs that had groups of 10 to 15, therefore forming two and three groups, and we still beat them,” she said.

“We were pretty happy with that.”

The success continued at a second competition earlier this month when Ruby and Keira claimed gold again in the all-around division and competitors Sienna Hotker and Amelia Fish earned silver and bronze respectively.

The level four girls also enjoyed high wins with Jessica Turner and Rachel Turner claiming first and second place in their all-around division.

Eight-year-old Ruby said she felt “good” and “happy” about her performances in Perth.

“I like being strong and fit and I’ve got great coaches,” she said.

Ruby’s mother Jenni Welsh added she was very proud of her daughter, who trains at the centre three times a week and wants to be a gymnast when she grows up.

“It was a brand new thing, we’ve never competed up there before, so we really didn’t know what to expect,” she said.

“We were just so excited and very proud of her and all the girls who have worked so hard for it.

“It was just a really nice reward that they have all chased so well.”

Ruby and a number of the other girls will compete again at a regional gymnastics competition in Katanning in September, before they return to Perth for the state championships the following month.

“We’re hoping to achieve similar results,” Ms Headley said.