In her first year of competitive gymnastics twelve-year-old Lilah Yow Yeh will be proudly representing Victoria in the Level 7 Team at the Queensland Border Challenge on the Sunshine Coast on June 28 & 29. Lilah currently trains at Jets Gymnastics Gisborne for 19 hours per week, so if you attend Jets Gisborne you are very likely to have seen this little pocket rocket around the gym!
Starting gymnastics at the age of 10 only two years ago, Lilah has inspired many gymnasts at Jets Gisborne in her short career. Her coach Mary-Anne Monckton (2x Commonwealth Silver Medalist and 3x World Championship Team Member) was also selected to coach the Level 7 Victorian Team for the first time in her coaching career.
Coach Mez says “Lilah’s improvement in such a short amount of time has been phenomenal to see.”
Starting gymnastics at the age of just 10 and reaching a National Competitive Level, not to mention making a State Team is a phenomenal achievement alone for any gymnast. Lilah started gymnastics with one simple goal and has never looked back, she says;
“I really wanted to learn a backflip, and I tried at home on the trampoline, but couldn’t do it, so I started gymnastics. Gym is so much fun!”
If you see Lilah in the gym you’ll see she loves the friendly environment, learning new skills, and getting to show off her floor routine. Her best apparatus is Beam and favourite skill is a Flip Layout Step Out on Beam.
While gymnastics has come with its perks she says the most challenging part is to overcome fears of doing something. What helps her to overcome this is;
“Listening to my coach, because she is very confident in me, so that helps me become more confident and go for the skills I am afraid to do. Also, knowing that it is OK to fall makes me feel less scared.”
The highlight of her gymnastics career is making the Victorian State Team for the first time. Her goal for the competition is to control her nerves so she can perform her routines the best she can. Coach Mez says;
“I just want all the gymnasts to have a fun trip away, perform at their full potential, and enjoy the competition.”
In training, she looks up to her coach and teammates as they always encourage her to become her best.
“I look up to my coach Mez because she was a very good gymnast! I also like Nadia Comenici, and Gabby Douglas.”
Coach Mez says the highlight of coaching at Jets Gisborne is being able to positively impact the lives of the kids through gymnastics.
“I have always wanted to become a gymnastics coach, as I am passionate about helping each individual become the best person they can be.”
Lilah’s advice to aspiring gymnasts is;
“I would say, try your best, and also, your only competitor is yourself.”
Coach Mez says;
“Believe in yourself – you are capable of more than you think!”