Jewells Primary School's Aerokids stretch their skills

THEY are back, bigger and better than ever.

Reigning national champions the Jewells Aerokids are already polishing their routines for preliminaries in May.

The squad hails from Jewells Primary School, which boasts a comprehensive aerobics fitness program.

Co-ordinated by PE teacher Michelle Yeo, the program was established 18 years ago.

Each year about 35 students from years 3, 4, 5 and 6 take part.

There are usually divided into five teams - littlies, primary, open, open B and boys.

The program has produced some of the Hunter's best aerobic gymnasts, some of whom have competed at world championships, including 11-year-old duo Tully Barton and Zane Ellison.

Last year, all five teams won crowns at the state titles and progressed to the nationals, where four teams came home with gold.

The whole squad received a 2013 Hunter Region School Sports Award from the Hunter Academy of Sport in November.

This year, the Jewells Aerokids plan to lift the bar even higher.

Mrs Yeo said she had choreographed harder routines and hoped to strengthen teamwork.

"We work really hard on the technical side of things because it's all about timing," she said.

"But it's not all hard work, the kids really enjoy it and it gives them something to do at lunchtime."

Mrs Yeo said the teams' main competition was Victoria's Syndal South Primary School this year.

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