Back in town to transform community gym

By Trevor Jackson

A NEW era dawns for the Millicent Gymnastics Club, with a full time coach and club manager appointed this week.

Fiona McDonald will take on the duties after returning to the region from university in Adelaide.

It is the first time the club has had a full time coach and manager, with McDonald the ideal choice, after studying Sport and Recreation Management, Bachelor of Business at university.

McDonald originally moved to Millicent at about nine years of age and now at 22 is happy to be back in town.

At her relatively young age McDonald said she was keen to kick off the new year.

“It is quite exciting,” she said.

“I guess a bit nerve racking to start with, getting all the planning organised, but more exciting than anything.”

One of the drivers behind McDonald is what she has gained from the sport and the desire to give back.

“I have done it my whole life and it has given me a lot of life skills,” she said.

“Growing up and dealing with life, gymnastics has always helped me get through.

“I just want to give anyone who wants to get involved in the club the opportunities I have been lucky enough to have.

“Who I am today is because of gymnastics.”

In life most people dream of a job they enjoy.

Those who love a particular sport could only wish to be involved on a professional basis.

McDonald said she finds it amazing to be able to make a living out of something she loves.

“I feel like it is a lifestyle,” she said.

“I have done it since I was about six years old, I love it and it is amazing I have been offered a full time position in something I love doing.”

McDonald has competed in the sport at a high level, judged and coached for several years and her university degree has provided the chance to take her love of the sport to the next level.

But there is no shortage of hard work ahead, with new classes to kick off to make the club more inclusive.

That includes all ages, from six months of age, right through to the elderly, handicapped and now men’s gymnastics also returns to the club after many years away.

“The club hasn’t offered men’s gymnastics for about seven years or more so I will bring that back so the males will be able to compete in competition,” McDonald said.

“There will be a couple of other classes, including FreeG.

“That includes lot of balance, stunt movement, flipping, running around obstacles.

“There will be gymnastic birthday parties and a lot of new stuff coming in.”

The new season kicks of on February 1, with a registration day this Sunday at the Millicent Showgrounds from 9am to 2pm.

“Anyone can come down and have a look,” McDonald said.

“I have brochures to hand out with all the information about each class.

“We are also launching a new website with a lot of information online.”