Twelve-year-old local gymnast Tannah van Niekerk has made the NZ gymnastics team
The Farm Cove Intermediate School student — and former Sunnyhills Primary School student – will be representing New Zealand for the second time internationally at the Steps Tour in Perth.
Tannah, who has been doing gymnastics for five years, started off at a local club before moving clubs to train as a development gymnast with senior coaches so that she could reach her full potential and work towards her dream of competing at the Commonwealth Games one day.
Tannah is on the elite pathway. Her gymnastics career started in step one (10 being the highest) and now competes in step nine, sometimes competing against gymnasts who are 4 years older than her.
Her dad Greg van Niekerk said Tannah has shown immense talent and potential and trains 22 hours a week at Tri Star Gymnastics in Mt Roskill.
“It requires commitment and dedication,” said Greg.
“But with Tannah’s passion and work ethic, she manages to find time to balance school, home and gym life.”
Tannah has competed for the Auckland Region at Nationals in Invercargill and Nelson last year and this year will again represent the Auckland Region closer to home in Tauranga.
She has a few national apparatus titles but the one she is most proud of is beam.
Last year Tannah competed two senior levels (levels seven and eight) during the competition season, and even though she was only 10 at the time, she managed to place in the top six in the country in her step.
“This achievement allowed her to go on to be named as the youngest member of a team of six to represent New Zealand at the steps tour in Singapore, where she went competed and brought back the overall gold medal,” said Greg.
This year the trial was again held in Christchurch and Tannah has again successfully made the team.
She will be travelling to Perth to once again represent New Zealand, this time in step nine.
“With gymnastics being entirely self-funded Tannah and we would welcome any sponsors to aid with her continued growth as a New Zealand athlete,” said Greg.
“Gymnastics is her passion.”