Local gymnasts excel

STRIKING A POSE: Tessa Cockcroft (back left), Lauren Maddocks, Angela Swartbooi and (front) Kayla Stiekema were among the members of the Sunshine Coast Gymnastics Club who competed in the interclub competition in Port Elizabeth earlier this month Picture: PENNY MADDOCKS

THE Sunshine Coast Gymnastics Club (SCGC) returned with good results from the first interclub competition of the season in Port Elizabeth earlier this month.

“Although it appears to have been a quiet time for gymnasts, the truth is that we have been hard at work preparing for the 2012 competitive season,” said head coach Carol-Ann Stiekema. “As part of our training, we encourage our gymnasts to enter the interclub competitions in Port Elizabeth hosted by Anderson’s Gymnastics Club.”

Stiekema said it was the first competition for three members – Lauren Maddocks, 6, Kayleigh Smith, 6, and Kym Anderson, 8 – “who all handled the pressure very well and came out smiling, with great results”.

Belinda Oosthuizen once again judged successfully and objectively on behalf of the club.

Results:

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) – Uneven Bars, Floor, Vault, Beam

Lauren Maddocks: Level 1 (7/u) – 1st on floor (with a score of 8.6), 3rd on skill vault and 6th overall

Kym Anderson: Level 1 (8yrs) – Tied 1st overall with an average of 9.45

Angela Swartbooi: Level 4 (18/u) – 1st overall with an average of 8.98

Kayla Stiekema: Level 5 (10/u) – 1st overall with an average of 8.31

Trampoline Gymnastics

Mini Tramp:

Kayleigh Smith (7/u) – 1st place overall with extremely consistent jumping – excellent results

Lauren Maddocks (7/u) – 2nd place overall with very good results

Kym Anderson (9/u) – 1st place overall, very good results

Double Mini Tramp:

Tessa Cockcroft: Level 2 (13-14 yrs) – 2nd place overall

Angela Swartbooi: Level 2 (13-14 yrs) – 3rd place overall

Kayla Stiekema: Level 4 (10/u) – 1st place overall

Tumbling:

Kayleigh Smith: E-3 (7/u) – 1st place

Kym Anderson: E-3 (9/u) – 1st place

Tessa Cockroft: E-4 (13+) – 1st place

Angela Swartbooi: E-4 (13+) – 3rd place

“SCGC does not own a proper tumbling track, but practises on mats, so it is difficult to gain the required control on a rebounding tumbling track,” said Carol-Ann. “We enter tumbling competitions ‘for fun’ as the training benefits our artistic gymnasts.

The club is looking for parents/friends who are willing to train as tumbling judges.

“As this is a volunteer service, it is difficult to find people prepared to give up their valuable time to judge gymnastics,” said Carol-Ann.

“Most of our gymnasts tumble in the elementary section (Levels E1-E4) which includes forward rolls, cartwheels and round offs. Tumbling has to be executed in a very specific manner and if the gymnast’s feet move as they land the cartwheel judging stops immediately. From Level 1 upward flick-flacks are introduced, then from Level 4 whips, somersaults and twists of varying kinds are routine. All of the higher levels really require better equipment than what we can offer – so Tumbling is not a major part of our programme.”

Eurotramp:

Kayleigh Smith: Level 1 (8/u) – 1st place

Kayla Stiekema: Level 3 (10/u) – 2nd place

“Although we do not have a ‘Euro’ trampoline to practise on, we have a few gymnasts who enter these competitions (they train at home on a much harder, far smaller, round version of a black top),” said Carol-Ann.

“Eurotramp is an Olympic sport, so it would benefit the club greatly if we were able to obtain a Eurotramp. The costs of a Eurotramp are, however prohibitive for us. In the past black top was considered ‘Level 1′ for Eurotramp, but this year SAGF (South African Gymnastics Federation) introduced a new Level 1 specifically for Eurotramp.”

The next interclub competition will be held on June 5 at Anderson’s in Port Elizabeth. Spectators are welcome at an admission cost of R10 for adults and R5 for children.

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