Teresa also nicknamed ‘T’, joined gymnastics at the age of 5. As someone who was afraid of balls flying at her face she decided gymnastics in many forms including WAG, AER, TRA and TUM was a safer option. Gymnastics helped her become independent, strong and resilient. In 2015 T started her coaching journey as an XTND coach at ARGOS “I looked back on when I was a gymnast, I had some amazing coaches and some horrible coaches and I really thought to myself, the coaches that had a positive impact on my life really helped me, they made me love the sport, so I wanted to be that for someone else”. Whilst she was at an XTND Display course, the presenter told her about this awesome opportunity called Ollerup. At the time she was not quite old enough however in 2019it came full circle as T got a scholarship to Ollerup.
Ollerup, based in Denmark, by definition is an international academy of physical education based on the fundamental movement patterns but in her words “I would describe it as the best year of your life.” There was a lot to learn at Ollerup, despite it being one of the most difficult years of her life, being stuck overseas during a pandemic, she grew to be a better gymnast and person because of the community around her. During her stay they went to Copenhagen and visited not-for-profit gymnastics and sports organisations. This sparked her interest in project management working with sports, children, and growing communities. She also got an O (for Ollerup) tattoo that represents “a full circle as everything you do comes back around and as a reminder to be your full, authentic self.”
Since coming back from Ollerup T has been volunteering as a brand strategy advisor for a not-for-profit organisation called Neighbourhood. As a part of the gymnastics community volunteering has been ingrained into her life, “I have been volunteering at every single gymnastics event my entire life”. She has been in many gymnastic based volunteer roles including helping at four National Gymnastics Championships. Life has come full circle again for T as she takes on her new role at Gymnastics New Zealand as Events Assistant. Wish her luck as she takes on this new role with Gymnastics NZ and don’t forget to say hi to her at Nationals.