Shire gymnasts return home from national championships with an abundance of medals

Medal winner: Alana Nesci standing at the 2021 Australian Gymnastics Championships. Picture: Supplied.
Medal winner: Alana Nesci standing at the 2021 Australian Gymnastics Championships. Picture: Supplied.

After a thrilling two weeks on the Gold Coast, Shire gymnasts Taj Bova, Sam Cook, Will Bohringer, Chase Cross and Alana Nesci have returned with an abundance of medals from the Australian Gymnastics Championships.

The talented group of five, who train at Shire Gymnastics, joined around 400 gymnasts chosen to represent NSW in the battle of the year at the premier gymnastics event following a series of selection trials.

Their efforts contributed to the NSW team winning more medals than any other state - 125 Gold, 120 Silver and 113 Bronze.

The NSW Men's team took home the prestigious Williamson Cheales Shield, which Queensland had held consecutively since 2010.

Each of the boys (Cook, Bohringer, Bova and Cross) brought home a team Gold for Levels Seven, Eight and Nine. Nesci's Level Nine team held its own with a Silver medal finish.

Bohringer, 13-years-old, represented NSW for the first time after missing the chance to compete nationally last year due to COVID-19.

Cook displayed a solid floor routine. The 11-year-old became the 2021 National Champion and received a Silver medal on the Rings and Vault exercises.

Cross, 12-years-old, had his mind set on achieving a podium finish on the Vault Horse event, and after a nail-biting finish, he won his Bronze medal.

Bova had put his gymnastics career on hold at the end of 2020, preparing to begin an electrical apprenticeship.

In March, he returned to the sport with support from work and family to continue his training and help NSW.

The 16-year-old competed with a Horizontal Bar routine that was seen only as a far-fetched dream four months ago. He became the National Champion after hitting it on day two of the apparatus finals, also walking away with a Silver medal on the Parallel Bars.

"Up until the announcement from Gymnastics Australia on April 11, we weren't sure if this event would even go ahead due to COVID precautions," said NSW coach Coach Mitch Skippen.

"Heading into the week, the boys were looking strong and feeling confident in their performance. There was no doubt in my mind that win or lose, it would be an experience to remember."

The NSW team competed in six competitive styles of gymnastics - Acrobatic, Aerobic, Men's Artistic, Rhythmic, Trampoline and Women's Artistic Gymnastics.

Gymnastics NSW CEO Aaron Bloomfield congratulated all of the athletes and coaches involved.

"It's been an incredible two weeks," he said. "The results showcase the sensational effort from our athletes and coaches. They have all made Team NSW proud."