WALKING ON AIR: Kayla Stiekema of the Sunshine Coast Gymnastics Club recently won a silver medal for double mini tramp and a bronze medal for Eurotramp at SA Games Picture: SUPPLIED
KAYLA Stiekema is the pride of Sunshine Coast Gymnastics Club for being the only gymnast in her club to win medals in trampoline at SA Games (Nationals for high levels) this year.
Ten-year-old Kayla received a silver medal for double mini tramp level 4 (10/u) and a bronze medal for Eurotramp level 3 (10/u).
Her mother and head coach, Carol-Ann Stiekema, said it was a “really a great achievement considering we do not even have a Eurotramp for her to train on”.
Kayla also came fourth in tumbling level 2, and this without a tumbling track at her club.
This year Kaylaachieved full EC colours in artistic level 5, double mini trampoline level 4, Eurotramp level 3 and tumbling level 2.
“This is really a great achievement for a 10-year-old from a small town like Port Alfred,” said mom Carol-Ann.
Kayla, who has been doing gymnastics for four-and-a-half years, has had to work extremely hard to achieve these goals. She trains on average 12 hours a week and does competitions on weekends.
Carol-Ann said gymnastics is built upon four pillars: speed, strength, flexibility and endurance.
“Kayla is not naturally flexible, but has worked very hard to develop in this area in order to achieve her goals. It really is true that gymnastics is more about hard work than natural talent,” she said.
“Having a mommy coach has also been a tough journey, but a rewarding one. We have learnt so much together.”
Kayla is also starting to help the younger gymnasts at the club.
“It’s great to see,” said Carol-Ann.”I feel it is important for gymnasts to give back into their sport.”
Recently Kayla was also awardeda 2012 top achiever medal from the Eastern Cape Gymnastics Association (ECGA) at a special display to which she was invited and asked to perform.
In the first event of its kind, ECGA looked at the results of all the gymnasts in a particular level (across all age groups) and selected a top performer. Kayla was selected asthe top achiever in double mini trampoline level 4 and also for tumbling level 2.
“We were very surprised and excited about these two awards.There are some very talented level 4’s in higher age groups in double mini trampoline, so this was a huge honour!” said Carol-Ann.
Kayla said: “I wouldn’t have been able to do all these things without God.”