Seven students from Yass Gymnastics are in for the trip of a lifetime.
From January 17 to January 19, 2020, the kids will leave for Oahu, Hawaii, to take part in the 44th annual Aloha Gymfest.
According to the Kokokahi Gymnastics (which sponsors the event) website, the Gymfest is a "sanctioned USAG meet that traditionally attracts top teams from Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, and countries like Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand."
The seven competitors from Yass Gymnastics will be accompanied by three support staff, and according to owner and head coach, Michelle Vitler, the team is already putting in extra hours to prepare for the competition.
"The routines in Australia and the routines in the US are different, so we're going to have to learn new routines, new skills, in order to compete over there," she said.
"That's going to be a challenge for the girls, but we've commenced morning trainings. The girls have been coming in Wednesday and Friday morning between seven and eight, before they go to school. They're very dedicated."
Such commitment from the Yass team is no surprise, as the competitors have consistently shown through their results.
As recently as one week ago, nine competitors from Yass High School and Yass Gymnastics took home several first, second, and third-place finishes at the Combined High School South Coast Gymnastics Trials.
Upon hearing the news of their impending US trip, Vitler said that the girls were "ecstatic".
"It's a wonderful opportunity for them. It's our first international trip for Yass Gymnastics and for the gymnasts themselves, so it's going to be an experience that they'll always remember."
In anticipation of the travel expenses, Vitler has set up a GoFundMe page which she hopes will help cover the costs. The club is also looking at a number of other fundraisers it may run ahead of the January trip.
The club would also welcome sponsorship in support of the trip, so any local businesses should feel free to reach out if interested.
The GoFundMe page can be found at www.gofundme.com/aloha-gymfest-2020-yass-gymnastics.