The breakthrough year for Bella Vista Physie has continued at last weekend’s Junior National Finals with Mackenzie Tolar finishing with the club’s first junior placing.
The club was only established in 2014 but this year has been a breakthrough year with its first ladies national place, first junior national place and first team place at nationals.
Six girls from the club attended the national championships with one semi-finalist and Mackenzie’s performance.
With the top five awarded places in BJP Physical Culture, Mackenzie, 12, finished fourth in her section.
“It was awesome because I’ve done it for eight or nine years and I’ve always wanted to place so it’s a check off the bucket list,” she said.
“For a month before, I told mum that she needed to make me practice every single day before nationals whether I wanted to or not – that’s how determined I was to place.
“I was happy to make the final last year but I had a very clear goal to place this year. All year this year, I have been listening and doing everything I could to make it possible.”
Mackenzie is no stranger to national competition after making the last five finals but had never placed until this year.
Earlier this month, Nicole MacDougall claimed second place at the Ladies National Finals in the novice ladies section.
The Ponds resident only returned to physie last year after a 17-year break with the competition aspect of the sport appealing to her competitive nature.
“It felt amazing,” she said. “I’d never made it to nationals before so just being there was awesome and then placing was more than I actually thought would happen.”
Bella Vista head teacher Narelle Sauerbier started the club with just seven people and it has grown to over 70 in just four years.
“I’m a little bit lost for words,” she said of the success.
“I’ve been doing it since I was little but it’s great to watch how they’ve grown over the years and how their success has gone from the beginning of the year all the way through.
“It’s nice to watch them grow and to listen and follow. It’s been a passion I’ve had since I was little so to pass that on to other girls is good.”
The Bella Vista teams also had a strong season with the ladies team receiving an honourable mention in its competition and the 11-12 years team winning second place at nationals.
“It’s pretty exciting and hopefully we can build on that,” Sauerbier said.