The New Zealand Olympic Committee and Gymnastics New Zealand have named a further two gymnastics athletes to the New Zealand Team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
15 year old women’s artistic athlete Stella Ashcroft from Christchurch School of Gymnastics has been selected to the team for her strengths in vault and beam.
Though going into her first senior year Stella is no stranger to podiums. 2016 saw her take bronze at the Pacific Rim Championships, before collecting a gold, silver, and a team bronze at the Junior Commonwealth Championships.
Last year Stella medalled at the Houston Invitational in the US, Australian Championships and Classic competitions and at the NZ Championships. Stella’s first competition as senior will be at the World Cup in Melbourne this month.
15 year old Rhythmic gymnastics athlete Stella Ebert is also selected to the team. Stella’s junior career has gone from strength to strength, with the young athlete making finals in all her 2016 international competitions. She won three bronze medals at the Junior Commonwealth Championships and placed first overall in all her domestic competitions.
Last year was Stella’s first taste of senior competition and she placed first in all domestic senior competitions she attended.
Gymnastics New Zealand CEO Tony Compier says the two athletes have worked extremely hard to gain selection.
“I’ve been privileged enough to see first hand, our athletes don the silver fern and perform on the world stage. What I have not seen is all the hours of training and sweat and tears that is always behind a competition performance. These selections are testament to the long hard yards that the girls have put in over the last 18 months and I’m excited for both them and our community, to see them perform up on that Commonwealth stage.”
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to the athletes.
“It’s fantastic to be adding another two athletes to the New Zealand gymnastics team for the Commonwealth Games. These young athletes have reached the pinnacle of their sport in New Zealand at a very young age and I have no doubt that they’ll represent New Zealand with pride and honour on the Gold Coast,” said Kereyn.
Ashcroft and Ebert add to the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics team to make a total of 7 athletes in the gymnastics contingent.
The naming takes the total number of selected athletes to 92.
For more information contact:
Communications and Content Executive
New Zealand Olympic Committee
+64 27 451 8090
Performance Pathways and Communications Manager
Gymnastics New Zealand
+64 21 424 938
About the Athletes
Gold Coast 2018 will be Stella’s first Commonwealth Games. Born and bred Cantabrian, she trains at the Christchurch School of Gymnastics under coaches Terry and Tamara Walker.
The last two years saw Stella take a gold, silver and bronze at the Junior Commonwealth Championships, a bronze at the Pacific Rim Championships and more than a dozen other medals at competitions in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
When she is not doing gymnastics, Stella enjoys drawing, baking and surfing.
Gold Coast 2018 will be Stella’s first Commonwealth Games and first senior international competition. Stella’s hometown is Auckland where she trains at Xtreme Rhythmix under coaches Marnie Sterner and Erica Thorby.
The last two years saw Stella take first place overall in all of her domestic competitions, including competing senior whilst junior in 2017. 8th place at the Pacific Rim Championships (USA) and Emeralds Cup (Greece) and three bronze medals at the Junior Commonwealth Championships. Stella is the current New Zealand Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion.
When Stella is not training or competing, she enjoys photography, baking healthy snacks and watching her favourite youTubers.
About the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
It’s hoped around 250 athletes will represent New Zealand at Gold Coast 2018.
New Zealand athletes are aiming to compete in 18 sports (including four para disciplines) with selection to take place from November 2017 – March 2018.
For the first-time women’s rugby sevens will be on the programme as well as beach volleyball, and basketball is back on the programme after a 12 year hiatus.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be the largest sporting event Australia will see this decade and the biggest sporting spectacle the Gold Coast has ever seen.
The games will be contested between April 4th – 15th 2018, with more than 6,600 athletes and team officials to take part.