Taree gymnast/coaches return from National Danish Festival ready to share skills

Invited VIPs: Ebony Lumantas-Hooke, Sophie Watson and Sarah Hayes were part of the 2017 Landsstaevne (National Danish Festival).

Invited VIPs: Ebony Lumantas-Hooke, Sophie Watson and Sarah Hayes were part of the 2017 Landsstaevne (National Danish Festival).

Taree gymnast/coaches have returned from their trip to Denmark as part of the PCYC NSW Performance Gymnastics Team inspired and ready to pass on what they’ve learned.

The team of 20 included 11 athletes from the Manning and Great Lakes, including team managers and coaches Sarah and Justin Hayes, and athlete/coach Penny Schubert.

The team was one of few international teams invited as VIPs in the 2017 Landsstaevne (National Danish Festival). 

“It’s a sports and culture festival with 30,000 participants. It isn’t just gymnastics, they had lots of different activities set up around the harbour,” said Sarah.

The team performed about six times over two weeks, ran workshops in Australian Gymnastics for Danish families and participated in workshops including acro-yoga, a parkour, rhythmical and tumbling, all aimed at improving their coaching skills.

The team had three days of training in the lead-up to their main performance to a sold-out crowd of 8000 people at an international showcase. “We were with the best of the best including the world team from Denmark, Taiwanese acrobats, hip hop dancers, a future Olympian from Helsinki,” said Sarah.

One coaching course they took part in covered spotting, which is when you use your hands to keep a gymnast safe while they are doing a skill.

Team member Ebony Lumantas-Hooke from Diamond Beach said it was a highlight for her.

“Because we are all coaches or future coaches we can always bring it back here and show other coaches and they can show other people as well,” she added. Sophie Watson from Cundletown said she has already started implementing elements of what she has learned into her classes. 

For experienced coach Sarah, it was also a good learning experience. "I’m not really into the high level tumbling. I learnt a lot and tried a lot of new spotting techniques because it’s changed since I learned it.” 

Sarah said the reason the team was invited to perform at the festival was the Aboriginal component in their routine’s choreography.

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