Trio trains for Paris

Oak Flats Albion Park Gymnastics & Acrobatics Club members Maddison Lacey, Jessica Adams and Mikayla Stephens, who will compete in the World Age Games in July. Picture: DAVID HALL

Oak Flats Albion Park Gymnastics & Acrobatics Club members Maddison Lacey, Jessica Adams and Mikayla Stephens, who will compete in the World Age Games in July. Picture: DAVID HALL

IT'S been a real sister act recently at Oak Flats Albion Park Gymnastics & Acrobatics Club.

Ten years ago, Maddison Lacey travelled to France to watch her sister Shelby compete at the World Acrobatic Gymnastics Age Championships. Little did she know that a decade later she would be again travelling to France, but this time it would be Shelby watching her compete at the event.

Maddison, 15, and her teammates Mikayla Stephens, 15, and Jessica Adams, 11, are celebrating their selection into the Australian team for the World Age Acrobatics Gymnastics Championships in Paris in July.

The girls, who have been training together for 18 months, were placed together with the 2014 World Age Games in mind.

Maddison and Mikayla have trained together at the Oak Flats club since they were three years old.

Both have had great success in acrobatics and women's artistic gymnastics, winning numerous national acrobatic titles and many state titles in artistic gymnastics.

At the end of 2012, the girls were looking for a talented young gymnast who had the ability to compete on a world stage and fit the age criteria. They didn't have to look very far and found her training at the Wollongong City Gymnastics Club, under coach Jo Thompson.

Jessica, who was a state artistic gymnastic champion, stepped up to the challenge and the young trio hasn't looked back, dominating the international 11-16 years' trio category from their first competition in March 2013.

The national selection process has been drawn out, the girls winning last year's National Championships in Sydney.

They followed that with victories at the National Club Championships in Perth, and then won convincingly at the World Championship trials in Sydney at the end of March.

Over the past 10 years, three other Oak Flats groups have been chosen to represent Australia at World Championships in France, Scotland and Poland.

The girls, who train 16 hours a week in their old Albion Park Showground Pavilion gym, will be mixing it with the best in the world.

They hope to finish with a spot in the final eight at the event.

Unfortunately the honour of representing your country does not come cheaply, and the girls are required to pay $5500 each.

The club has stepped up with various fund-raising activities to help them achieve their financial commitments.

A trivia night is planned at the Albion Park Bowling Club on June 13.

The club is hoping businesses will help support these dedicated young gymnasts to achieve their goal.

The club can be reached on 0414 701 195 or 4256 6756 or on shelby@1earth.net.

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