AeroGym Fiji Makes History in Australia
A team of Aerobic Gymnasts from Fiji made history last month when they competed at Gymnastics Australia’s National Clubs Carnival (NCC) on the Gold Coast. This was the first ever emerging Oceania Gymnastics Federation to compete internationally.
The team from VOU Dance and Gymnastics [www.voufiji.com
] were first introduced to Aerobic Gymnastics through the Australian government-funded Pacific Sports Partnerships project AeroGym Fiji aimed at combating non-communicable diseases and providing leadership opportunities for women.
When Melbourne Gym Sports [www.melbournegymsports.com.au
] Directors Alice Stooke and Rebekah England-Hill heard of the program, they decided to get on board and support the initiative which is changing lives for the better in Fiji. Initially, Alice and Rebekah conducted a self-funded development visit to Fiji, conducting Aerobic Gymnastics participant, coach and judge training. During this visit they selected three talented and worthy, budding aerobic gymnasts to sponsor to compete at NCC2018 - Jonacani, Jennifer and So’ula.
Coached by Michelle Fink, a Dane now living in Fij, and mentored by Alice and Rebekah via video and Skype, the gymnasts trained along with team members Savannah and Isabella. Team Fiji competed in the Level 3 and 4 Individual and Multiples divisions, performing solid routines and thoroughly enjoying the experience. Coach Michelle even competed, winning a gold medal in the Level 4 Senior Individual division!
Melbourne Gym Sports’ fundraising efforts, with additional financial support from the Australian government’s Pacific Sports Partnerships program made this opportunity possible. It was not only an introduction to international competition for these talented aerobic gymnasts and the first step for the Gymnastics Federation of Fiji towards competing on the world stage, but these athletes have become role models in their home country. Appearing on national TV in Fiji prior to their departure, they were treated like celebrities on their flight, with passengers and crew recognising them and wishing them luck. Upon return, in their communities they represent the 'power of sport'. As Nelson Mandela famously said in the year 2000; “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire.” These athletes are an inspiration to others in Fiji to commit, train hard and work towards a goal.
The amazing fundraising efforts of Melbourne Gym Sports haven’t yet quite managed to cover all of Team Fiji’s costs, so we invite members of our gymnastics family back here in Australia to contribute if they have a few dollars to spare - even the smallest amount will help!
DONATE NOW: www.mycause.com.au/page/185664/fiji-at-national-clubs
Thank you to all who have already contributed – Team Fiji are now back in the gym training for the Fiji National Gymnastics Competition and aspiring to attend World Gymnaestrada in Austria in 2019!