Lifetime GNSW Member Barbara Pearson Retires from Regional Supervisor Role
For someone with such intricate knowledge of Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, it’s a wonder Barbara Pearson wasn’t first a gymnast herself.
The Sydney WAG judge has been involved in the gymnastics community since her daughters first took up classes in 1978 at a club in Manly.
After transferring to a club closer to home in Mosman, Mrs Pearson says she started representing the club at regional meetings and formed close friendships along the way.
“My kids encouraged me – that was where I started, very locally, and I still have those friendships today and that’s lovely,” she said.
Since then, Mrs Pearson became a judge in 1984 and gained her national accreditation in 1992 before joining the Judging Assembly Committee as Treasurer (a role she has held since 1999). Now, following decades of involvement in clubs, competitions and regions, Mrs Pearson says it’s time for her to step down from her role as Northern Regional Supervisor.
“I had to make that decision on health reasons,” she says.
When the next set of judging exams comes around, following the Olympics, Ms Pearson also says she is unlikely to take them.
“I am continuing judging until the next set of exams,” she said.
Proudest achievement to date
Going from someone who had no clue about gymnastics to a national judge has been one of Mrs Pearson’s biggest achievements.
“Because I am not an ex-gymnast, I had to learn all the techniques. You can’t just read a book, you have to go into a gym centre, listen to what the coaches are saying and do the ‘live’ research.”
What has been the highlight of your time in the gymnastics community?
Despite being awarded a Gymnastics NSW life membership in 2010 and life membership in the Judges Assembly in 2014, Mrs Pearson says the highlight has always been positive interactions with young gymnasts.
“I love talking to the little kids, they are honest and tell you what they think, including of you,” she said.
From GNSW, congratulations to Mrs Pearson for all her achievements and thank you for your time dedicated to gymnastics!