Three young Hills gymnasts have taken on the world and come away with great results.
Cherrybrook’s Blake Grainger, Annangrove’s Damon Louwen and Kellyville’s Madison Rodd were part of an eight-strong team from Windsor’s Kachan School of Tumbling and Performance who represented Australia at the Trampolining World Age Championships.
Madison, 11, even came away with a silver medal in the double mini trampoline.
Blake, 18, finished just outside of the medals in 17-21 tumbling in his third World Age Championships with his fourth place finish his best result yet.
“The first two times, I finished 10th and this year I jumped up to fourth,” he said.
“It definitely feels better than finishing 10th and it shows all the work that my coach and I have been putting in over the last few years has finally come to a result. Now it’s just working harder for higher places in the next competition.”
It was a strong performance from the club with five of the eight athletes finishing in finals, while Molly Mamo won gold in 11-12 years tumbling.
It was a busy month for Blake who completed his HSC the day the team flew out for a training camp in the UK.
Training under Dzmitry Kachan, who is also the national tumbling coach, Blake said he has learned a lot since joining the gym in 2012.
“It’s really good to because we can support each other in our highs and lows and mutual respect is a big thing at the gym,” he said. “Even though we range from 10 to 19, it’s good that we can all be equal as a group and work together towards a main goal.”
Kachan director Rebecca Kachan said the gym has had a lot of success qualifying for World Age Championships in previous years but this was the first time winning two medals at Worlds.
“The kids are doing 30 hours a week with morning sessions and afternoon sessions, so they’re dedicated athletes even though Madison is 10,” she said.
“We did have a lot [in the] final but all you really hope for is to go out there and be respected for what you’re doing and do the best that you can do. We’re super proud of them all.”