THE status of Australian champion comes with expectations but also confidence for world titles-bound aerobics star Emma Bellman.
Bellman is one of four south-west athletes bound for the World Fitness and Hip Hop United Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
She will join her Warrnambool proteges Jordan Rooke and Jess Brunt and Naringal gun Brenton Andreoli at the titles from October 14 to 20.
Bellman, 24, will contest the senior sport aerobics female trios alongside Shepparton’s Emma O’Keeffe and Geelong’s Kayla Bamford, formerly of Warrnambool.
Jordan and Jess, both 15 and members of the EKB Fitness and Aerobics academy, are in the junior sport aerobics mixed pairs.
Andreoli, 20, is chasing a medal in the senior sport aerobics male singles and mixed pairs, with Jan Juc’s Emily Daniels.
The four hopefuls leave Melbourne today and will spend three days in Abu Dhabi before heading on to Belgrade.
Bellman, who will compete at her fifth worlds, said she was upbeat about the prospects of a breakthrough gold medal on the world stage.
She has previously won silver in the junior mixed pairs but was keen to go one better with O’Keeffe and Bamford.
“It’s definitely hard getting together, living so far away,” she said.
“All our minds are in the right place. We’re all motivated for the right reasons and want to work hard for each other and ourselves.
“We’re all putting in our time when we can’t get together as well as when we can.
“This year we want to aim for a medal since we came sixth last year. Going in as Australian champions adds a bit of confidence.”
Bellman said she had trained about 15 hours a week in the lead-up to worlds. Jordan and Jess had similar training schedules. The coach said the pair, friends since their East Warrnambool Primary School days, deserved the chance to shine at world titles.
“In their training, when they’re tired it only takes someone to say ‘think of what you’re working towards’ and they’re on their game,” she said.
“They’re both really excited to compete. It’s their first time going as a pair, although Jess has been before.”
Jordan said competing at Belgrade was “a really big thing”. He never thought aerobics would take him overseas.
“I did think about it but I never thought it would happen,” he said.
“We’ve trained hard together, that’s why we get to go overseas.”
Jess was likewise ecstatic.
“It is amazing. It’s a really good opportunity. I can’t belive it’s happening,” she said.
“If you asked at the start of the year what would I be doing, I wouldn’t have picked going overseas.”