Local gymnasts ready for nationals
THE REGION’S brightest up and coming gymnasts will receive the honour of representing their state at the Special Olympics Australia National Games this October in Tasmania.
Eleven of Geelong’s best gymnasts will converge on Launceston from October 16 to 22 and compete across various gymnastics mediums for a coveted gold medal and the chance to book a spot at the 2023 World Games in Berlin, Germany.
Athletes have been hard at work ramping up their training efforts in the lead up the big event and have been humbled by the huge show of support from the team of trained coaches and volunteers at Jets Gymnastics in Grovedale.
“We are very excited for the athletes who will be heading over to Tasmania later this year and it is a true credit to head coach Kerry Woods and all the volunteers who lend their time to make sure they are feeling prepared come October,” Geelong Special Olympic Gymnastics team organiser Tracey Parr said.
“The athletes will be training a couple of times a week at Jetts in the next few months and some will also do private lessons to try and improve their craft before the big event.
“Eleven of the thirteen athletes who will be representing Victoria are from the Geelong area, so we feel very proud to be home to many gymnasts who are going for gold.”
Athletes who participate in the program have a broad range of intellectual disabilities and /or autism spectrum disorder and usually compete in mainstream gymnastic competitions as part of the Gymnastics Australia Inclusion Program.
From this, the athletes are then selected from the national games qualifying event to represent their state on different apparatus including beam, bar, rings and more.
2018 Gold Medallist Jabyn Parr is looking forward to the challenge of the national stage and will hope to qualify for his first world games, which is set to held in Berlin, Germany in June 2023.
“I love gymnastics and find it very fun to see all my friends during training and at the competitions,” Parr said.”At my last national games, I was able to win a couple of gold medals on the rings, the high bar and the vault and I really hope I can do it again!
“There is plenty of great competition around Australia and I am really looking forward to challenging them for the gold medals.”
Parr’s major threat for the title will be one of Geelong’s own in Patrick Forssman who was able to qualify for his first world games in 2019.
Forssman is the oldest athlete on the team at 27 years old and has plenty of experience across different gymnast apparatus.
“Patrick is very good at what he does, and he will be hard to beat, however I will definitely try my best,” Parr said.
Jabyn Parr and the rest of the Geelong Special Olympic Australia National Games team look forward to doing their state proud later this year in the hope of securing a world stage berth.
The full rundown of the Special Olympics Australia National Games can be found here www.specialolympics.com.au/nationalgames2022