Wanaka’s own gymnast and rising star Isabella (Bella) Soper has collaborated with her coach Rae Paterson to ready herself for the South Island Championships, which has involved adapting her training methods to overcome the hindering environmental factors presented by her training facility.
This weekend, a coach from Christchurch is transporting a springboard to the South Island Championships in Timaru—the new equipment should better suit the style of somersaulting vault that Soper is working on for Nationals.
Soper has also met and received guidance from Alison Milburn, formerly known as Alison Reid, who was the 1970 NZ Gymnastics Elite Champion and represented New Zealand at the World Games. Milburn was also University of Illinois’ head coach in the United States of America.
Paterson intends to run an open training session before Soper heads off to Auckland in early October in order to give the local community a chance to appreciate the gymnastic skills required to compete at her level.