Amazing invitational success in Port Pirie

INVITATIONAL SUCCESS: Ben Venus, a former Port Pirie gymnast, competed in the MAG section of the competition for the Tea Tree Gully club.
INVITATIONAL SUCCESS: Ben Venus, a former Port Pirie gymnast, competed in the MAG section of the competition for the Tea Tree Gully club.

There are new highs for Port Pirie gymnastics with a record number of competitors flipping into the city’s annual invitational championships. 

The galaxy themed competition saw 550 competitors from around the state gather at the John Pirie Secondary School stadium.

The competition started on Friday night of the October long weekend with masters, featuring gymnasts aged 16 years of age up to 74 followed by the WAG and MAG levels 1-10 throughout the weekend. 

Port Pirie Regional Gymnastics Academy head coach, Garry Nayda said the event promotes a very positive image for the city of Port Pirie and encourages a growing number of people to the area. 

“We are really pleased we can use this annual competition to focus positive attention on Port Pirie and further strengthen our city’s position as a hub for high quality, professional sporting events.” 

“We started this competition around 15 years ago and there was only about 80-90 competitors. Over the years, the event has grown and now includes beginner through to high performance, international development and masters levels.

“In addition to the gymnasts and their families we also have well over 100 judges, officials and coaches who came along to support the event”, Garry said. 

The event, held on the October long weekend also provides an opportunity for local businesses to benefit economically, with reports of increased sales over the three-day period. 

We are really pleased we can use this annual competition to focus positive attention on Port Pirie and further strengthen our city’s position as a hub for high quality, professional sporting events.

Garry Nayda

This year the club held a special VIP session with invitations to officials from Gymnastics SA, local, state and federal elected members and representatives from the business community. 

Club president, Marie Cunningham says they were really pleased to show off the plans for the new gymnastics facility being constructed as a part of the Port Pirie sporting precinct. 

“In addition to providing a permanent and fit-for-purpose ‘home’ for gymnastics, we hope the new facility will also give us the opportunity to bring more gymnastics events out of Adelaide and into Port Pirie, including competitions, summer camps and coaching clinics,” Marie said. 

The John Pirie Secondary School stadium has a capacity for 500 people and remained filled and was a hive of activity and action all weekend.