My Story: Junior Group 

 NSW’s junior group, comprised of Brio Dos Santos-Lee, Ilaria Korompay, Isabella NSW Wang, Katrina Lai, Maria Gourlas (MLC School) and Tahyla Smith (Queanbeyan YMCA), have just returned home for the world’s first FIG Junior World Championships. 

The Junior Group stayed consistent throughout their competition and finished both their routines ranked in at 30th. Their Hoop routine was their strongest after they scored a 13.300, while their Ribbon was scored 9.200.  We caught up with the junior group following the competition to hear all about their experience. 

Can you tell us about your experience at the first Junior World Championships? 

It was an honour representing our country in the first Junior World Championships. The whole experience was amazing. From all the countries who attended, to the training centre and competition centre, as well as competing against the worlds' best groups. It was amazing.   

What was the selection process? 

Our first trial was held at the AIS in November 2018. Which at that stage we had our routines for 3-4 months. We then competed in NSW for invitational and State trial competitions before we went to compete overseas. We competed in Romania, Bulgaria and Azerbaijain which allowed us to see many of the best groups, and our competition for World Championships. 

We had a month to prepare ourselves for the Australian Gymnastics Championships. Around 2 weeks before Nationals Tahlya Smith joined our group. As the Australian Gymnastics Championships was the last trial in the whole selection process, we felt lots of pressure going into the competition. Luckily for us we all held our nerve and managed to place 1st overall and were selected to represent Australia at the 1st Junior World Championships. 

What is harder: competing as a group or as an individual?

 It depends, as a group although you may sometimes feel you have let down your team, you know they will always have your back, and they will always support you. We celebrate our highs together, and comfort each other in our lows, however as an individual your performance rests only on you. So, groups and individuals is neither easier or harder but is very different.  

Where there any highlights from the competition?

The whole experience of the World Championships, but we can all agree the highlight for us was walking off the floor after our final routine. We were so happy sitting the couch with our coach who was also very happy with our performance. Also seeing how proud our parents were after our performance, hearing and seeing them cheer us off the floor. 

Who would you like to thank?

We'd like to thank your coaches, Delia Halmu, Pepe Havea and Barbara Katona, for supporting us this whole year, training everyday, to the multiple trips overseas. Thankyou to our coaches, choreographer and ballet teacher in Azerbaijan who have helped us so much as a group. We would also like to thank our parents for making this whole opportunity a possibility. They have been so supportive of us and a key for our success. Thankyou also to our friends and family for the ongoing support. And finally thankyou to everyone in our group who have all worked so hard and had achieved our dreams together.

What’s next?

We are not too sure what we will be doing in the near future as some of our group members will be moving up to senior, however we are excited about whatever will be coming our way.