Zoe Tisdale's passion for gymnastics shaped her for the future

It was 2001 when Zoe Tisdale began her career in gymnastics just because she saw her sister participating and it all started at Star Mites Gymsports. 

Tisdale left Aerobics with an incredible resume of achievements including representing Australia at two World Championships (2008 & 2010), three World Cups (2009-10 & 2013), five times at ANAC International Aerobic Championships (2009, 2011, 2014-15 & 2017) and nationally for thirteen consecutive years. 

After fracturing her scaphoid in 2011, Tisdale underwent multiple surgeries to try and fix the issue which made her attending the 2012 World Championship experience the most memorable.

“There are a lot of moments which stand out for different reasons, though one memorable moment was being selected to represent Australia at the 2012 World Championships,” Tisdale said.

“In the previous year I had surgery to place pin it to stabilise the bone in my wrist, unfortunately this was unsuccessful and I had to undergo more surgery.  

“Prognosis was I would not regain full range of motion, would not be able to weight bear again and I was in a plastic splint for 9 months before I could begin rehab on my wrist.

“I had to adapt the way I did skills but I found ways to do the things I needed to do to stay in the sport I loved.  

“I believe it made me a stronger athlete and I proved to myself and others that hard work and determination play a large part in what you achieve both in sport and in life.”

The nerve racking process to be selected to represent Australia was always on Tisdale’s mind she felt honoured to wear the green and gold.

“I remember being selected for my first Australian team as a junior; I was so excited I cried,” Tisdale said.

“Each selection had its own challenges and struggles to get there and every time I got selected was a shock. You are never guaranteed a position on the team; you had to earn your spot.  

“I was over the moon to be selected each and every time. My last selection was just as special as the first, I had set a goal and to achieve it and it meant the world to me. “

For Tisdale, Aerobics wasn’t just a sport that she competed in as it is a smaller Gymsport, she has always felt like it is a family and it has given her many opportunities in different avenues.

“It has been incredible to be able to see the world with people who share the same passion and strive for excellence that I do,” Tisdale said.

“The gym was always a safe place where you could go, enjoy yourself, train hard and be surrounded by caring people.  

“My strong passion for gymnastics and being active led to an educational and career pathway for me.  

“I completed my high school physical education health and dance teaching degree, the majority of my sport science degree and in recent years finished my masters of occupational therapy degree.

“As an athlete I loved teaching the smaller kids what to do so my coach got me into a coaching course and I have not looked back.  

“Coaching aerobics is so incredible; to see the joy and passion the kids/adults have when they compete is out of this world.  

“I recently was given the honour to be on the other side and coach an Australian tour. This is something I never thought I would achieve.”

Thinking back on her time being involved in Aerobics, Tisdale has been able to witness and experience the transformation.

“In recent years there has been a push to create teams to get the most out of sport and give athletes more opportunities.  

“In regards to the discipline itself, there has been a shift with each change of code to enable greater enjoyment for the spectators.

“The outfits and leotards have definitely changed I remember when I first competed I wore a very simple shorts and crop top, but over the years the leotards worn have undergone a huge transformation to the glitzy ones worn today.

“I think overall gymnastics has evolved in a positive way, this can be seen with the increase in the number in participation, the success of athletes over the years, the way gymnastics is involved with wider community.”

Thinking of the future was a tough one for Tisdale but she hopes for an increase of recreational gymnastics and for Aerobics to see great success internationally.

“With the health and fitness industry growing and the expectations to continue to be fit and active, I think recreational gymnastics will increase in popularity, especially with adult’s gymnastics," Tisdale said.

“The fundamentals of gymnastics are used in a lot of sports and with their increased popularity this will assist gymnastics itself to develop further. 

“I think aerobics within Australia will continue to develop teams internationally the development of skills will continue to be out of this world with what people can push their bodies to compete.  

“What I would like to see is a cross Gymsport championships where each country chooses athletes from each Gymsport to make up a team and compete against other countries. 

“This will continue to increase the awareness of the sport within the community and allow for greater engagement from spectators.”