Looking ahead to the 2017 Australian Gymnastics Championships with Danielle Prince
Gymnastics Australia spoke to Australia’s top Rhythmic Gymnast, Danielle Prince, as she looks ahead to the upcoming Australian Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne.
When asked about her objectives for this year’s Championships, it was simple.
“I’m very excited to compete at Hisense Arena again this year at the Australian Championships,” Prince told Gymnastics Australia. “My main goal for this year is just to enjoy the experience and enjoy performing in front of an Aussie crowd.”
For personal reasons, Prince recently made the decision to move from Queensland to New South Wales, and described the transition moving from Brisbane to Sydney as ‘really smooth.’
“I am even getting use to the traffic!” she laughed, whilst adding that the team in NSW have also been incredibly supportive in making her switch easier.
2016 was a big year for Prince. As well as finally realising her Olympic dream at the Games in Rio, Prince was also awarded a scholarship with the Layne Beachley Foundation, which aims to nurture talented young women through mentoring and support. Reflecting on this achievement, Prince explained how the scholarship was a huge help for her preparations in the lead up to the Rio Olympics, as well as the opportunity to follow her passion of helping the next generation of potential Olympians fulfil their dreams.
As a seasoned competitor, Prince’s preparation for competition revolves around successfully hitting all her routines, ensuring no errors or mistakes are made. Being able to carry out a routine 100 times perfectly in training means that she can confidently walk onto the competition carpet knowing she has the numbers completed in training behind her.
A typical day for Prince starts off with a combination of strength and conditioning training in the morning, followed by finalising any university coursework, before seeing a physio or dietitan prior to heading off to training, where she’ll practice for between four to five hours in the afternoon and evening.
When she’s not competing, Prince spends her time at university, enjoying a piccolo at her local cafe, or taking part in a pilates or ballet class, which helps with her flexibility, and in strengthening her core muscles.
After starting dancing at age the age of three, Prince’s teacher suggested she try Rhythmic Gymnastics because of her natural flexibility. Her family have been a big motivation in her sporting career and she admits she wouldn’t be where she is today without their love and support. Moreover, Prince’s experience in the sport comes with its detractors, as she’s had to give up things in order to achieve her goals and aspirations. She accepts her university degree will take a while to finish, similarly going out to nice restaurants with her boyfriend are limited to post-competition, but she recognizes this is what’s needed to reach her objectives.
Last year, Prince made her Olympic debut in Rio, after narrowly missing out on selection for the 2012 Games in London. She described the experience as one of the proudest moments of her sporting career, performing on a world stage in front of her friends and family in the stands supporting her. With the Commonwealth Games less than a year away, Danni admits the lure of competing in her home country was an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up, after taking a short break from the sport following Rio.
What's more, competing in next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast would see the five-time All-Around National Champion become the first female Australian gymnast to compete at three Commonwealth Games, an honour she is incredibly thrilled about as she looks ahead to the Shadow Squad and Team Selections later this year.
Don’t miss your chance to catch Danni live in action at the 2017 Australian Gymnastics Championships – secure your seats now!
Words by Ben Morello