City schoolgirls win national aerobics title
Four Invercargill schoolgirls are celebrating after winning a national aerobics competition in Wellington.
The team consisted of Pippa O'Connell, Ruby Dempster, Bellah Crawford, all 10, and Brydie Andrews, 9. The girls won the New Zealand Competitive Aerobic Federation's national primary school competition.
Bellah said the experience was exciting and lots of fun.
St Theresa's Primary School principal John Lieshout said he was rapt about the team's win.
"[I'm] just ecstatic."
The school was overjoyed to have qualified for the regional finals, let alone win the national competition, Lieshout said. "All the practice and dedication certainly paid off."
This year was the school's second year of participating in competitive aerobics.
Lieshout said the win would not have been possible without the hard work of the team's coach, Diane Tait.
Though Tait had not been able to attend the final because of family commitments, she was happy with her team's efforts. "I'm very proud. They worked really hard and really deserved it - it was a fabulous win."
The St Theresa's team was not the only Southland group that performed well at the competition.
Teams Power of Delta and Dynamic, from St Joseph's Primary, were second and fourth respectively in the primary teams category, and Southland Girls' High School team Fuel'd and James Hargest Junior College team Triple Trouble were first and third respectively in the intermediate team contest.
Samuel Balloch and Zax Marsden, of St Joseph's, were first and second in the primary male section, while Brittany Harris, of Southland Girls', was first in the intermediate female category. Windsor North School pupil Alex Cope was third in the primary female section, with Ella Marsden, of Donovan Primary, fourth.
James Hargest Junior College pupil Daniel Balloch was first in the junior secondary open novice male section, and team Emily and Ally, from Southland Girls', was second in the secondary open novice teams section.
Southland Girls' Talia Buchana was sixth in the junior secondary open novice female category.
St Joseph's also won awards for best school banner and best school chant.
Te Anau Primary's Te Anau Dreamz team won the federation's primary and intermediate hip-hop competition and the most promising junior dance crew award.
St Joseph's Evolution team came second in the primary and intermediate competiton.