From Championships to New Beginnings

Not long after I returned from the AIS I found out that my gym had to relocate and would not be running a high-performance program. My Dad had moved to Brisbane for work in 2018 but we didn’t go because I didn’t want to leave my coach and I was School Captain for Year 6. With the news of no High Performance and him already living in Brisbane, in 2019 we took the opportunity to move up as QLD has many incredible gymnastic facilities and opportunities.

I trialled at both the Gymnastics Queensland High Performance Centre and Delta Gymnastics club. It was a very hard choice to make but I chose to become a part of the Queensland High Performance Centre and representing Delta Gymnastics club so I get the best of both worlds. So within a couple of months, I had left my whole life as I knew it, moved interstate, I was a Junior International level gymnast AND began my very first year at high school. It was going to be a big year.

It was very hard work at the HPC as I was still behind in skills and now I had to work to Junior International level as Queensland doesn’t do Future International. It was pretty much a 3 level jump in skills. Added into high school and a new state the first few months were hard. I am very lucky to be supported by my family and I made lots of great friends. I go to school with the other gymnasts from HPC so that helped a lot. Also in the first two months up here I grew a lot and from that lost my vault and my bigger tumbles. It was a real struggle especially training with girls who were so amazing and doing really big skills.

My first competitions up here were regional and state championships in March and April where I competed in Junior International for the first time. I was very excited to be competing because at one stage my coaches had thought I might not compete at all so I could focus on my skills. This meant that my hard work was paying off and my coaches thought I was ready for Junior International competition. My coaches decided that I was able to compete beam and floor but as my vault and bars was behind to not compete all around. I got silver medal on beam at both competitions so was very happy. As I didn’t compete AA at States I couldn’t qualify for nationals this year so I concentrated mostly on upgrading my skills getting ready for the next competition which was Australian Classic in September.

In July, while doing a change-ring on beam I fell and rolled my ankle. I tore some ligaments and was off my foot for about 4 weeks. It was a hard time, not doing full program on my ankle, but I was also having a hard time with my mental health, going in and out of wanting to quit gymnastics. I have been very lucky that this was my first real injury but I think this added into all the changes over these few months hit me hard.

I worked very hard at rehab and at training and worked with a Sports Psychologist. He helped me remember how much I loved gymnastics and explained that my brain is getting in the way to protect my body when it comes to big skills. Once I had started doing everything on my foot again, I was in a great mindset and had the best week ever with training, picking up new (and old) skills I was really looking forward to Australian Classics. Unfortunately, a few weeks before comp, I had an accident on the metal bar while doing giants. My body kept going on a giant but my wrist didn’t! I was very lucky to not have a break but I did a lot of damage to the soft tissue on my wrist. This meant another almost 2 months on basic program and in particular bars which is still my biggest struggle.

I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now without the help and support from my coaches, support team, friends and most importantly my family. I am back to full program, working hard on upgrades and looking forward to the future. Fingers crossed for the next goal of an International placement to represent Australia.

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