A team of seven athletes from Yass Gymnastics recently returned from a highly successful trip to Hawaii, where they competed in their first Aloha Gymfest.
The club earned two first-place finishes, four seconds, and four thirds across all apparatus.
This, said Yass Gymnastics owner and head coach Michelle Vitler, was "very pleasing".
"I was really impressed with how they went. I wasn't really sure [how they'd go] because this is the first time we've ventured overseas, so we were trying to feel our way for the first time.
"It was a great experience and something we're going to put on our calendar every second year so some of the younger gymnasts will have an opportunity to do the same in a couple of years time."
The competition, which ran from January 17 to 19, featured teams from all over the world in a competition which inspired the small squad from Yass Gymnastics.
"It was a great experience for them all, we managed to go and watch some of the higher level gymnasts on the Saturday night which was great, and the girls competed on the Sunday," Vitler said.
"It was a really fun atmosphere, so I think it put the girls at ease for the next day. It was good to see the gymnasium where they would compete and see how it was run, it was beneficial to do that."
Aside from the success Yass Gymnastics enjoyed at the competition, it also gave Vitler and her students time to socialise and make connections with other gymnasts from around the world.
"We ended up meeting a lot of different clubs and got a lot of phone numbers and contacts," Vitler said.
"The Monday after they had a celebratory picnic on the beach, where everyone came together. We got to meet more of the gymnasts and coaches and socialise with them."
The team also found time to get out and enjoy the tourist life in Honolulu, including hikes, swimming with dolphins, watching flame dancers, and plenty of time spent on the beach.
"We tried to squeeze as much as we could in," Vitler said.
"The first week we only did a couple of touristy things, but the second week we did something almost every day."
The trip was thoroughly enjoyed by the students and their coaches, but Vitler said adjusting since their return has been interesting.
"The routines are different so they're having to readjust to the Gymnastics Australia routines," she said.
"It was difficult towards the end of [last] year because they had state events, so they were learning normal routines along with the USA routines, they did really well to keep it together."
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