The sky truly is the limit for mixed acrobatic gymnastics pair Ebony Mclean and Matthew Alcock.
Despite having only worked together for 10 months, the pair from Sydney Gymnastics and Aquatic Centre at Rooty Hill took out a clean sweep of the 12-18 years mixed national championships, winning all three categories – dynamic, combined and overall.
It is an amazing result, especially considering Matthew, 17, only switched from men’s artistic gymnastics (MAG) at the end of last year to partner Ebony, 13, whose partner retired.
“It’s been pretty different,” Matthew said. “I feel like MAG is a lot more professional and serious whereas acro is bit more energetic.
“It was difficult to start with but eventually I started getting used to it.”
It was a big year of change for Matthew who was looking for a place at nationals as an individual artistic gymnast.
The centre’s acrobatics team leader Rebecca Buffrey approached Matthew to see if he would like to make the switch and the rest is history.
Ebony, on the other hand, has been training in acrobatic gymnastics since she was seven.
“I like that there are so many different parts to acro,” Ebony said. “You can add skills and dancing and there are all these other things you can do in it.”
As the more experienced partner, Ebony said that Matthew has shown great improvement over the year.
“He’s been doing really well because he was a bit rusty at the start but he’s getting way better,” she said.
The pair’s performance at nationals was good enough to qualify for the Australian national squad and opens the opportunity to make the national team team to compete at the world championships.
Ebony said it was a relief to make the squad.
“If we didn’t make it, it would have been really disappointing because you can’t go to bigger places like world’s,” she said.
“So it’s really good that we’re on the national squad and that we have the opportunity.”
It was a great result for the club with the centre winning the title of overall club champion for the first time at the National Acrobatic Gymnastics competition in Melbourne last month.
The centre also won the Division C club championship with an amazing performance across the level 4 and 5 categories to win the title for a second straight year.
The level 4 pair of Layla Dimacali and Raimely Bojo and trio of Alice Edenborough, Adriana Badrov and Angelina Obungen each finished first in all events and overall.
In the older age groups, 12-18 women’s trio of Nadia Cunningham, Varnie Raman and Caitlin Christie also placed first in balance, combined events and overall, finishing with one of the highest individual scores in the competition.
Centre general manager Simon Greally said it was a great effort for all involved with several other top 10 finishes and high placings in individual events.
“It is amazing to see all these talented young gymnasts emerging from western Sydney and being recognised for all their hard work and dedication,” he said.
The gymnasts focus is on the 2018 World Age Championships in Belgium with trials starting in November.