Local siblings to test their skills at Warrnambool gymnastics tournament

Alana Johnson, 15, and her brother Isaac, 17, will compete in the Warrnambool Springers Invitational gymnastics tournament this weekend.  140714AS23 Picture: AARON SAWALL

Alana Johnson, 15, and her brother Isaac, 17, will compete in the Warrnambool Springers Invitational gymnastics tournament this weekend. 140714AS23 Picture: AARON SAWALL

SIBLING rivalry is pushed aside when Warrnambool gymnasts Isaac and Alana Johnson hit the arena.

Isaac, 17, and Alana, 15, will compete in their home club tournament — Warrnambool Springers Invitational — this weekend.

The King’s College students are among 315 entrants for the two-day competition.

But Alana said any friendly rivalry between the pair would remain at training.

“Every now and then at training there might be competition between boys and girls but it’s all a lot of fun,” she said. 

“But the other gymnasts like to see competition between us.”

Their sister Ellie, 11, is more into swimming and the trio are Warrnambool Kayak Club members. 

“Even though Ellie doesn’t do gymnastics, she does kayaking so as siblings we enjoy doing sport together, particularly kayaking down the river,” Isaac said.

Isaac started gymnastics eight years ago — two years after Alana took up the sport.

He is now a level seven male gymnast and she has achieved level eight status in the women’s categories.

Both endeavour to coach in coming years.

Isaac said male numbers dropped off as age groups advanced but that interest in the sport “is growing, which is good”.

“I really love the sport,” he said. “It’s great for developing strength, fitness, balance and co-ordination and there’s always new skills to learn and new goals to work towards.

“After school I will probably do gymnastics coaching a lot more and compete less.

“I am completing the intermediate coaching course and we have both competed in the beginners.”

Male gymnasts compete in six apparatus — pommel, high bars, rings, vault, floor and parallel bars.

Isaac said the high bars were his favourite, while the rings were “really difficult”.

“With the high bars there is plenty of movement (like the) giant where you go around the bar, doing a full 360 degrees,” he said. “That is quite fun.”

Alana said she liked how gymnastics required numerous skills.

“I really like the uneven bars and vault because they are both apparatus involving power and strength and I like that aspect of it,” she said.

“I don’t like the beams so much because I haven’t got great balance or flexibility.

“It is really hard to perform skills on a 15-centimetre piece of wood.” 

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