IF you thought the Gymnastics NSW Country Championships would be the state championships’ poor cousin, you’d be wrong.
Orange will host the four-day event from today and it has attracted a top calibre of gymnast.
A perfect example of this is Lismore’s Tiarna Martin-Durrington.
The 16-year-old just contested the Australian Aerobic Gymnastics Championships.
Aerobic gymnastics combines gymnastics skills with dance moves for a high-energy sport.
Martin-Durrington proved to be a strong competitor in the level five senior competition, finishing ninth in the individual event, and fifth with partner Svenja Gollasch-Miller in the pairs.
When the teenager lines up in the solo competition on Saturday, it will be the first time aerobics has been in the NSW Country Championships.
Martin-Durrington’s commitments at the Country Championships don’t end there.
She will also open the tournament when she lines up in the acrobatics events.
The acrobatics has pairs, trios and teams of between four and six members, perform routines which often include lifts.
Martin-Durrington said she enjoys the aerobics and acrobatics.
“They’re both very different,” she said.
This year’s acrobatics event will bring a new challenge for Martin-Durrington as she lines up with her partner in the women’s pairs.
“This is my first competition with the top [teammate] I have now,” she explained.
“We’ve been working together this year.”
In an acrobatic pair, there is a base and a top, with the base lifting the top. The acrobatic competition requires each entry to do two routines - a dynamic and a balance.
It makes for some exciting viewing.
Despite having multiple chances to do well at the Country Championships, Martin-Durrington hasn’t set any special goals.
“I just want to do the best I can,” she smiled.
More than 850 gymnastics will converge on Orange’s Sir Neville Howse Stadium for the Country Championships starting today.
The tournament will include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampolining, aerobic gymnastics, acrobatics and team gym.
It starts today with acrobatics from 8am and rhythmic starts at 12pm.
Friday will feature women’s gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics.
Saturday will have men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics. That evening will be aerobics, team gym as well as the men’s and women’s apparatus challenge.
On Sunday, the women’s gymnastics will wrap up and the trampolining will be held.