Nadia Maddelena, Miles Cronin and Shannon Austin train some future champions.
Nadia Maddelena, Miles Cronin and Shannon Austin train some future champions. Supplied

Club is a home for athlete trio

THERE are no bedrooms or couches, but the Gold Coast Gymnastics Club has definitely become a home for three young athletes.

Nadia Maddelena, Shannon Austin and Miles Cronin met at the club back in the early nineties and as pre-schoolers and the club quickly became their childhood stomping ground.

Now grown adults, the trio - from Burleigh Heads and Miami - have set the bar high in the gymnastics world by giving their lives to the sport.

The three grew up together, saw one another win state and national awards, they complete traineeships and now compete at the highest level.

Gold Coast Gymnastics Club coach and Women’s Artistic Gymnastic coordinator Nadia Maddelena, said it is the love of the sport that has kept the trio dedicated all these years.

“We all started training at the club before we turned five, so we’re very close,” she said.

“The people here are like family.

“We have shared birthdays together, and been there for really important achievements for one another.”

All three of the budding gymnasts went through the Junior Coaching course, Challenge, Achievement, Pathways in Sport program at the same time, and each has gone on to coach at a senior level. Representing Queensland seven times and Australia twice, senior male coach Miles Cronin, said they could not have done it without the help of the club.

“We have had a lot of support from the gymnastics club to send us away to competition,” Mr Cronin said.

“We have a fundraising organisation which is run by the parents to help the students to compete.”

Mr Cronin, who received the Frank Vig Sportsman of the Year award, and the Gymnastics Queensland Coach of the Year award both in 2008, said although it’s challenging at times, it’s a joy to pass on the skills the three have acquired over the years.

“We really enjoy working with the young athletes and seeing them go on to win themselves,” he said.

“That’s really rewarding.”

It’s a family affair at the club, with the parents of the threesome also being heavily involved.

“My mum has worked as an administrator here at the gym for the last 15 years, and Shannon’s mum used to work on the general club committee with my mum at the very beginning,” she said

Shannon Austin from Miami completed a Sport and Recreational Traineeship at the club with the support of the others, and at just 20 years old, has produced regional and state medallists.

“It doesn’t feel like work for us, it’s just something that we really enjoy doing” Ms Austin said.

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