Australian gymnast Kayla Cragg has been studying rhythmic gymnastics since she was a child, at the only gymnastics club in Queanbeyan – the YMCA Queanbeyan. The 15-year-old rhythmic gymnast has gained state representative honors after displaying her expertise in the sport of rhythmic gymnastics on the different parts of Australia.
Cragg, along with more than 1300 gymnasts travelled to Melbourne, Australia earlier this year to take part in the 2015 Australian National Gymnastics Championships. The said event was held at Hisense Arena, and between 18th-30th of May, the venue turned into a site of colorful and lively activity as more than 6000 routines were performed right before the eyes of the audiences and judges. This year, the Queanbayan gymnastics club became better on their two-strong representation from last year and along with Australian gymnasts Kayla Murray and Vera Chaelneva, they sent Kayla Cragg to take part in the event.
“It was my second time so I knew what I was in for and it was awesome” Cragg said.
“Kayla and Vera came too, so that was cool being the most we have had represent from the Queanbeyan club”
As a reward for their efforts, Cragg, together with other local competitive athletes has received coaching from a world-class Bulgarian international instructor Nadya Aleksandrova, one of the most respected names in the world of gymnastics.
Aleksandrova, a former Bulgarian rhythmic gymnast herself, possesses an extensive knowledge and experience with regards to the sport of rhythmic gymnastics. She was also the former head coach of both Great Britain and Bulgaria. Due to her commitment with Gymnastics Australia, she allotted some of her time to travel across ACT and Quenbayan to share her knowledge and expertise among the interested Australian gymnasts.
“It’s a good experience to have someone who has so much experience to be guiding us,” Cragg said.
“Nadya has taken us through warm ups, ballet, skill and apparatus work, a bit of body work and just the simple foundation stuff, like artistry.”
Peta Virgo, the executive officer of YMCA Queanbeyan said that the opportunity to make a practical use of Aleksandrova’s knowledge and proficiency was too good to just let it pass, and he also discussed about the benefits a young child can get from taking part in rhythmic gymnastics.
“It gives them so much self confidence and basically gymnastics is a brilliant sport for the basis of any sport,” Virgo said.
“These kids can turn around and excel at anything because they have the core strength and coordination.”
Rhythmic Master Class with Nadya Aleksandrova
Beyond her days as a Bulgarian competitive gymnast, Aleksandrova, a former Bulgarian and British national head coach, possesses one of the most spectacular and admirable record in the world of gymnastics. After receiving her Masters of Sport in the year 1977, she has enjoyed the stints of being the national head coach of Bulgaria and Great Britain. At the present moment, she became a part of the FIG Academy Working Group of Rhythmic Gymnastics, with her role allowing her to travel across different countries to introduce coaches’ workshops and FIG Academy programs.
Coming straight from South Africa, Aleksandrova arrived in Australia on November 19 and shared her expertise with 12 of the top rhythmic gymnasts in Australia, together with their coaches in the recently held RG Team Future Advanced Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
With Aleksandrova’s extensive knowledge, the Australian high performance athletes received a further boost in their expertise in the sport.
She departed from Australia yesterday (December 8) after sharing her valuable knowledge to the enthusiastic Australian athletes.
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