PARENTS can be assured their youngsters exercising at Rooty Hill’s state-of- the-art gymnasium are learning from one of the best.
Former international gymnast Sarah Gilbey oversees the gymnastics programs at the recently opened $24-million Sydney Gymnastics and Sports Centre.
Gilbey trained at the Australian Institute of Sport and represented Australia at the 2006 world championships.
‘‘My whole life has been around gymnastics,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a sport that’s dear to my life. I enjoy seeing the kids smile as they learn, grow and develop.’’
Accepting the position was an easy decision when Gilbey saw the potential of the 4000-square-metre Olympic grade gymnasium.
‘‘It’s amazing when you walk into the gymnasium,’’ she said.
‘‘It takes your breath away. It’s the biggest and best gymnasium I’ve ever seen in terms of equipment, which is of international standard. If I could relive my youth, I’d want a
training facility like this.’’
The gymnasium hosts skills programs in cricket, league, netball and union.
‘‘Gymnastics is the nursery of all sports,’’ Gilbey said.
‘‘They learn strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and stamina, the benefits are far reaching. Kids can improve their health and skills associated with fitness.’’
About 700 participants take part in programs there every week, not counting the 800 who use the aquatic centre.
‘‘It’s a very busy place,’’ Gilbey said.
‘‘It’s wonderful to see so many people embracing it. It’s a facility for the community where children come her to participate. In this day and age, it’s extremely important to set the the framework for a healthy lifestyle and participate in sport.’’