Members of the Bendigo Calisthenics Club have just wrapped up a few months of competitions, with results which saw them awarded with multiple medals across various age groups.
Bendigo Calisthenics Club coach Michelle Strauch said Calisthenics had a long history in central Victoria.
“People have been involved with the sport for more than a century,” Strauch said.
Australian Calisthenics is a team-based competitive sport which combines gymnastics, ballet, dance, apparatus work, singing and acting.
The sport first came to prominence in Australia during the gold rush and in 1891 the Royal South Street Society introduced it as part of its annual eisteddfod in Ballarat.
The inaugural event attracted 260 competitors who performed across 10 days.
Strauch said the sport helped participants develop physical strength, poise, friendship, fitness, team spirit, coordination and confidence.
At the Calisthenics Victoria State Championships the club won multiple medals.
The sub-juniors (10 years-old and under) won four gold medals, juniors (13-years-old and under) three silver and one bronze and intermediates (16-years-old and under) four gold and two silver.
They continued the success with the club being awarded a perpetual aggregate cup for their impressive performances at the prestigious Royal South Street Society Eisteddfod in Ballarat.
“The eisteddfod has been running for more than a century and people travel from all over Australia to Ballarat to compete,” Strauch said.
The sub-juniors won six gold medals at the RSSS Eisteddfod to be unbeaten all year and the overall winners of their division.
The juniors finished second in their division with two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.
The intermediates also fished in second place within their division with four gold and one silver.
The process of competing at calisthenics events involves each team performing six routines, each based on a different element of the sport and set to background music.
“It’s pretty much a bit of everything,” Strauch said.
Strauch first became involved with the sport when she was 4-years-old, has been involved with the club for around 35 years and has been a coach for the last 20.
“All the girls are extremely passionate about the sport and relish every moment when they are out on the stage,” she said.
“They perform tricks in a safe environment and enjoy the variety of the sport.
“The challenge is having all the performers work together in unison, which is another element of calisthenics they enjoy.”
The club has been busy rehearsing for the 2018 Bendigo Calisthenics Club Annual Showcase, where performers from all age groups will take to the stage on Saturday afternoon at Ulumbarra Theatre.
For more information on the Bendigo Calisthenics Club visit https://www.facebook.com/bendigocalisthenicsclub/.
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