When the Gymnastics NSW State Team sets off for the 2018 Australian Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, they will be vying for their seventh straight national title.
Among the dynasty-founding gymnasts are a dozen Novocastrian athletes, who all regularly train at the local Eastlake Trampoline Sports.
A focal point of the “formidable force” heading to defend their long-standing title is Jessica Pickering, who recently returned from the Pacific Rim Championships in Colombia with a second place medal in the synchronised trampoline event.
Alongside Pickering will be Aiden Thomas, Alix Cooksey, Anthony Lewsem, Dominic Cooksey, Jai Starrett, Kaitlyn Perkins, Katherine Tennant, Nathan Lewsem, Shaun Swadling, Ty Swadling and Zoe Cooksey, all of whom will be representing Newcastle in the state team.
NSW Sport and Event’s manager for gymnastics, Chris Martin, believes the squad heading to Melbourne have a very good chance of stretching the state’s dynasty at the national event to a seventh year.
“New South Wales is always a formidable force at the Australian Championships,” Martin said. “We have Newcastle locals competing across trampoline events, as well as women’s artistic gymnastics, and they all make a great contribution to the overall team.”
“We are really looking forward to another great few weeks of competition.”
As well as the dozen gymnasts in the state squad, six women are heading from the Bennet’s Green Blackerts Gymnastic academy, and competing in the artistic gymnastics category.
The squad includes Tahlie Park, Chailend Malinowski, Kaylan Moloney, Edan Shorten, Jasmine Fischbeck and Jorgie Hills.
All squads will be looking to “return home as the champion state for the seventh consecutive year [in] all trampoline events – trampoline, double mini trampoline and tumbling”, coach Martin declared.
The Australian Gymnastics Championships will feature over 1400 athletes competing over 6000 routines across 12 days of competition.
It will feature five gymsports in total – acrobatic, men’s artistic, rhythmic, trampoline and women’s artistic gymnastics.
For the fifth year running the championships will be held at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena, running from May 21 to June 4.