Wentworth College gymnasts celebrate their golden touch
Eight gymnasts struck gold after securing 14 medals between them at this month's national competitions.
Wentworth College students Sophia Mueller, Bronte Heath, Alex Dobson, Emma Gilpin and Caitlin Smith represented their school as the senior rhythmic gymnastics team this month at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Gymnastic Championships and won the year nine and 10 group section of the competition.
Caitlin, Sophia and Emma also stole the stage in the years nine to 13 novice individual grade, winning gold, silver and bronze.
This was a massive achievement for the students, including Caitlin who is only year eight.
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After taking out the New Zealand Secondary Schools Gymnastic Championships Caitlin, who already has two New Zealand champion titles, went on to gain more at the Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools Games in Tauranga.
Caitlin led teammates, Natalie Brewer, Sophia Gardiner and Teresa Sell to victory in this competition and won another gold in the individual flyers grade.
Sophia came in close taking the silver medal in the same section.
Teresa and Natalie were also on the hunt for the medals, finishing fourth equal, just 0.1 away from the bronze medal.
Despite her medal haul, Caitlin said the competition was fierce.
"There were so many good gymnasts in both competitions, I never really felt confident, I just had to trust that the hard work I had put into training would get me through."
That hard work is the hallmark of what makes the Wentworth College team so successful according to former New Zealand coach Kate Heard.
"This is a very special group of girls, from a remarkable school. The support they have for each other and that they have received from their school is truly unique to any I have worked with in previous years," Heard said.
Having coached at all levels in the sport for more than 20 years, Heard said she feels very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Wentworth College this year.
"The nurture that these students receive in all areas of their schooling certainly played a huge role in their gymnastics successes.
"The whole school can be very proud of their achievements."
The gymnasts now have a break as they focus on their upcoming exams, however discussions are already underway, for the team to test themselves against the best Australian schools in 2018.
- Rodney Times