Sarann’s Determination Pays Off

After knee surgery in November last year, Year 6 student Sarann Pretorius was told she would not be able to compete in gymnastics for at least 12 months. However, through hard work and determination, Sarann competed and qualified for the WA Border Challenge State Team. She also recently placed 6th overall at the WA State Gymnastics Championships in Level 7 with a 4th on the beam and 6th place on the bars.

We asked Sarann about her gymnastics.

How long have you been involved with gymnastics?

I started gymnastics when I was 6 years old in South Africa. At first, one of the clubs came to my school Maragon Primary to teach us simple skills. Then they picked out a few children to take to their club and teach us more. This was when I realised that this was my passion.

What club do you belong to?

I belong to Active Gymnastics Club in O’Connor. The club has helped me conquer my fears, hurdle over challenges and make new friends. I am coached by Leah Newman and Nikolai Lapchine.

What do you love most about gymnastics?

What I love most about gymnastics is having the feeling that you’re flying in the air, having Leah and Nikolai as my coaches, and having my best friends beside me through ups and downs. 

You overcame some big hurdles to compete again, tell us a little about how you overcame this to be ready to compete again?

I had a patellar sleeve avulsion injury, which is where your quad muscle pulls the top half of your kneecap away from the bottom half causing it to break. I overcame these challenges by always going to training sessions even on crutches, to work on my strength, I had intensive physio sessions and lots of talks with mum and dad. Having Leah say she wanted me on her team to compete made me fight harder. There were lots of tears, and finally, before my surgery, I made a list of positive outcomes which I looked at every day. 

All of these things were tough at first but the more I did the better I became. Three months after surgery, I started to work on my skills even though the doctors told me that I would have to wait 9 to 12 months until I could compete. But with careful planning and daily goals I started to jump, run and tumble again. 


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