Gymnasts ascend to international heights

Gymnasts ascend to international heights

Five Kingborough gymnasts were part of a six strong Kingborough Gymsports team which departed on Saturday, March 7 to compete in the Second Dutch Trampoline Open to be held in Alkmaar, the Netherlands over March 14 and 15.

The Dutch Trampoline Open is an event sanctioned by the governing body of competitive gymnastics, the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) and attracts trampoline gymnasts from all over the world, including Olympic hopefuls and aspiring juniors.

Kingborough Gymsports lead coach, Ben Kelly, says the event will serve two purposes for the club team.

“Firstly, to provide invaluable first-time experience to a new generation of international trampoline gymnasts and secondly to provide further international exposure to our emerging senior trampoline gymnasts,” clarified Mr Kelly.

Leading the Kingborough team will be siblings, Matthew and Amber French who have recently represented Australia at the 27th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Championships in Japan last year.

Amber is the current Junior Under 17 Australian National Champion, while Matthew was the silver medal recipient in the Junior Under 22 division at the 2019 Australian Gymnastics Championships.

Matthew and Amber have been involved in gymnastics since the age of 4, commencing with Kindergym at Kingborough Gymsports before moving through to the competitive trampoline program at the Optus State Gymnastics Centre.

Now 20 and 16 respectively, the duo will be looking to move through to the Senior International ranks for the next Olympic cycle.

Mr Kelly believes that international exposure is critical in building professional and confident trampoline gymnasts.

“The Dutch Open and other opportunities such as the Indo-Pacific Championships in September, will provide a steadfast experience to spring board them into 2020 and beyond,” said Mr Kelly.

Both Matthew and Amber are also recent recipients of Optus Gymnastics Scholarships offered through Kingborough Gymnastics Association.
Accompanying Matthew and Amber will be three junior gymnasts, including younger brother, Billy French (13) who will be competing in his first international event.

Billy will be accompanied by team mates, Rohan Wilcox (12) and Luan Smit (15).

Unfortunately, Axel Murden (15), another member of the Kingborough trampolining team, sustained an injury in training and will no longer be able to travel to the event.

The team are currently participating in a pre-competition training camp in Alkmaar and will be taking the opportunity to travel to 's-Hertogenbosch for a post-competition training camp at the Flik-Flak facility after the event.

Pictured above: Billy, Matthew and Amber French, along with Luan Smit and Rohan Wilcox will be competing in the Second Dutch Trampoline Open to be held in Alkmaar, the Netherlands over March 14 and 15.