Four young athletes will represent the Waitaki district at an upcoming national trampoline competition – and they have their sights set on claiming some national titles.
Josh Collins (15), Charlotte Lane (12), Lily Pali (15) and Samantha Atley (16), members of the Saints Trampoline Club, will travel as part of an Aorangi regional team to compete at the 2019 New Zealand gymnastics championships.
The competition, being held in Auckland from October 2 to 5, is the pinnacle event for gymnastics in New Zealand.
Head coach Michelle Johnston said Oamaru’s Saints Trampoline Club had been represented well at the national event in recent years.
“We’ve had some years there’s only been the one athlete so it’s good [to have four], it’s really good,” she said.
Last year, Caitlin Middlemiss won two gold medals and Johnston said this year’s Oamaru athletes also had “pretty good” medal prospects.
“They’ve all had quite a lot of success at the competitions that we’ve gone to this year,” she said.
“I’d be hoping for finals and maybe some medals.”
It is Josh’s first time competing at the national event. The St Kevin’s College pupil has only been trampolining for two years, but has made remarkable progress in a very short time.
This year, he has stepped up to the 15-16 age group and won bronze medals at the CSG Classic and Upper South Island championship.
Charlotte, Lily and Samantha have all competed at a national level for trampolining before.
Fifteen-year-old Lily, a Waimate High School pupil, started competitive gymnastics when she was 6 years old and took up trampolining two years ago. She travels to Oamaru from Waimate four times a week to train and won silver for the double mini at the CSG Classic last month.
Samantha has had an impressive start to the year, winning gold, silver and bronze medals in double mini tramp, synchronised trampoline and trampoline respectively at the CSG Classic, and medalled at the South Island championships, Upper South Island championships and national championship qualifier events.
The Waitaki Girls’ High School pupil credits eight years of artistic gymnastics to giving her a good base for the trampoline. She also helps coach competition squad and recreational gymnastics teams and trampoline groups.
Charlotte is the youngest of the Waitaki athletes. The 12 year old Ardgowan School pupil started trampolining in 2016.
She has won four silver medals for trampoline and double mini events this year.