Waitara Welcome Germany to their Gymnastics Family

Anna RobertsonInternational, Midlands, Women's artistic gymnastics

Sophie Scheder Rio bronze medalist signed the bars at Waitara in memory of the visit.

Gymnastics Waitara recently farewelled some newly made friends from Germany.  The visitors are all based at the TuS Chemnitx Altendorf Germany Centre of Excellence where they train and attend school. The girls are all part of the Germany Gymnastics Federation Kader team and have competed at the German Youth Championships, the European Youth Olympic Championships, Rio Olympics and other international competitions where they have all won medals on the four apparatus. The girls were aged between 13 and 21 years and stayed with us for 12 days.

The Kader Team are all amazing gymnasts.  Whilst in Waitara, they trained 7 hours a day most days and their focus and work ethic was just stunning to watch. They completed move after move after move with perfect form and attention to detail without showing any signs of tiring or losing concentration.  The Waitara girls found this the most motivating experience to watch. Their coaches were also happy to work with the Waitara girls and they passed on some of their training ideas to Waitara coaches Hayley and Shirley.

Waitara billeted the Kader gymnasts with Waitara gymnasts so they could have a true Kiwi experience.  When they had a bit of spare time they did some sightseeing which including visiting the mountain, white cliffs walk, a marae visit, biking our walkway, a boat trip and many other walks. It all finished with a potluck dinner where gifts were exchanged and they sampled some iconic Kiwi food including pavlova and pineapple lumps which they loved.

This exchange came from an idea from one of our parents who moved to NZ from Germany – she contacted the Centre and it all fell into place. This has been an experience the Waitara team will never forget.  To reciprocate, the Kader coaches have invited them to their Centre are excited to be sending a team of athletes and coaches to Germany in July 2020.