For 23 years, Mannum resident Narrelle Roe-Simmons has been shaping young bodies into gymnasts of the future.
As head coach at the Murraylands Gymnastics Academy in Murray Bridge, she volunteers her time to helping youngsters across the Murraylands achieve new goals.
With an accreditation in kinder gym, male and female artistic gym and gymnastics for all ages, Narrelle has been dedicated to coaching since she was 18.
She is paid by the local academy for six hours of work and donates another six hours minimum per week to keep the gym alive.
In the beginning, she was hoaxed into her coaching career by a friend but, in time, she fell in love with helping people succeed.
“I really enjoy teaching young kids new skills and it’s wonderful to see the smiles on their faces when they finally complete a tough skill they’ve been working at for a long time,” she said.
“I almost get more pleasure from seeing the lower level ids do something for the very first time.”
In the Murraylands, her time as a coach has been a way for Narrelle to give back to her community.
“Gymnastics is a great base sport for everything else… it offers balance, flexibility and incredible confidence to young kids,” she said.
“We lose a lot of our gymnasts to other sports over time because it helps them become great athletes.”
Narrelle said gymnastics was not a sport for the faint-hearted.
“It requires a lot of effort but it gives people a lot of confidence when they achieve a skill that can take six months,” she said.
“One of my boys took 18 months to complete a skill but once he got it the whole gym stopped and clapped for him because they understand how challenging it can be but it’s also so rewarding.”
The academy offers kinder gym classes for children aged 0-5 and a variety of classes for gymnasts into adulthood.
Narrelle said the gym always needed more volunteers to help with coaching, judging and maintenance.
To express interest in volunteering, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I really enjoy teaching young kids new skills and it’s wonderful to see the smiles on their faces when they finally complete a tough skill