Gymnasts jump for joy

WOMEN’S gymnastics will shine a light on the Latrobe Valley when hundreds of young athletes descend on the region for the Energetic Cup next month.

Hosted by Energetic Gymnastics in Traralgon, Traralgon Stadium will be transformed into a gymnastics arena on Sunday 9 August for the tournament.

Energetic Gymnastics head coach Elise Edgar said the club, with support of Gymnastics Victoria and Latrobe City Council, was excited to take the event to a new level for competing gymnasts and the wider community.

“At Energetic, we like to think outside the square and create an event experience that is memorable for everyone, including the gymnasts and their family and friends,” Edgar said.

“In the past, we’ve had surprise guest appearances from Australian gymnastics team members and live acrobatic gymnastics performances.

“This year we’ve got plans to host an interactive come and try zone for families.”

The third annual state pennant wildcard event for women’s gymnastics levels 1-3 will be held alongside the cup.

Gymnasts will compete across several divisions, with the top two teams from each level automatically qualifying for the GK Elite Women’s State Pennant Finals.

Latrobe City mayor Dale Harriman said both events would place gymnastics on Gippsland’s sporting map.

“Gymnastics is an inclusive sport and I encourage the community to show its support for this event and the competitors from across Victoria,” Harriman said.

“Hosting such a prestigious event in regional Gippsland demonstrates to the rest of the state that we have the facilities, the talent and the passion for the sport and we look forward to welcoming the competitors, the officials and coaches and their families to Latrobe City.”

Gymnastics Victoria chief Jamie Parsons said hosting events in regional Victoria had proved successful in broadening the sport’s reach.

“Gymnastics is currently the fastest growing major participation sport in Victoria, showing an increase in membership of more than 15 per cent in the first half of 2015,” Parsons said.

“By hosting gymnastics competitions in regional Victoria, Gymnastics Victoria is contributing to additional economic activity in regional towns, which assists with increasing participation and number of gymnastics clubs run in regional Victoria.”