Soaring to great heights

May 05, 2018

Making their mark: Jets gymnastics head coach Josh Bissett and coach Gabby Sait (far right) encouraged Emily Younger, Narkita Smith, Kiera Shaw and Alex Wieland to a bronze medal at last year's Victorian Championships.

Gymnastics in the Goulburn Valley is thriving.

Jets Gymnastics at Mooroopna has 586 members with 52 involved in the elite squad program.

Six star gymnastics last year earned their way through to the Victorian Championships after putting in long hours of training in the lead up.

Alex Wieland, Kiera Shaw, Narkita Smith, Emily Younger, Mikayla Waite and Darcy Cuthbert made their way to Geelong in November where they earned a bronze medal.

In an outstanding finish, they also proved themselves to be state champions on the vault.

Jets head coach Josh Bissett said the young athletes were composed during their first year of competition.

‘‘They did really well, we knew the girls would do well, but we weren’t expecting something that exceptional, especially because it’s their first year competing,’’ he said.

‘‘They’ve really been in our squad program developing for up to three years and then at about the fourth year they start competing.’’

Bissett is an ideal coach to learn from, bringing years of experience to the job.

‘‘I pretty much have just been in gymnastics my whole life, I started at a young age and then went on to coach and I’ve been in Geelong then Shepparton, up to Darwin and then back to Shepparton,’’ he said.

Gabby Sait was the direct coach of the side on its way to its third-placed finish last year.

While Waite and Cuthbert have moved, the remaining four are all hard at work again for this season.

All average about three trainings a week for a total of nine hours in the lead up to important competitions.

The Jets Gymnastics members are one of the nominees for the junior sports Team of the Year award as part of the Greater Shepparton Junior Sports Awards.

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