CHAMPS: Community Event of the Year winners, Emerald’s Guinness World Record touch team at the Australia Day Awards. nk-260111-014
CHAMPS: Community Event of the Year winners, Emerald’s Guinness World Record touch team at the Australia Day Awards. nk-260111-014

Gymnast walks tall

EMERALD’S Senior Sportsperson of the Year, Meagan Walker, couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.

As much as she tried to downplay the achievement, her results and representative accolades spoke for themselves.

They tell the story of an athlete, who in the space of three years, has pulled off what many strive to do in their entire career.

The 2011 Australia Day award winner and State-level gymnast from the Emerald Gymnastics and Trampoline Club joined the sport after being encouraged by her child’s coach to give it a go.

“I was taking my kids to Kindy Gym and the coach said my Yoga experience would serve me well in gymnastics,” she said.

“Last year, our team started as a level four, then a month later we were level five and we ended up coming fourth at State – there was nothing in it.

“But the road to success is never smooth or easy.”

Meagan said the nomination did not come as a complete shock and she had suspicions as to who was responsible.

“It was supposed to be a surprise but they had to ring me up just to make sure I was going to be there,” she said.

While thrilled to be recognised, Walker also felt the other nominees were just as deserving.

“I know there are a lot of sportspeople around the area who are excelling,” she said.

With two young children to look after, training and travelling has been a tough undertaking and this year she said it was time for a change.

“The hardest thing is committing to the hours,” she said.

“I would love to do it for a couple more years but this year I think I’m going to have a break.”

If Meagan does make a return to the mat, she has indicated it may be in the mixed pair discipline.

“It is an aspect of the sport I haven’t really done much with.

“But I’m not holding my breath.”

Taking out an award of this calibre was no mean feat and could take time to sink in, but it would be an honour Meagan Walker would treasure for years to come.

“When I’m 80 it will be pretty impressive to look back on,” Meagan said.

WENDY Lawrence and her Guinness World Record touch team made it a double at the Australia Day awards.

Wendy received the Sports Administrator award for her efforts and involvement with Emerald Touch and the touch team also won the Community Event of the Year award.

“I think we were more excited than tears,” Wendy said.

“We were all just happy to be nominated and glad to be a part of it.”

Winning the Sports Administrator award capped off a memorable day for Ms Lawrence but it was the love of the job that made all the difference, Wendy said.

“It helps in my job when you like what you are doing – it makes it all worth it.”

Another sports award winner announced on the day was Michaela Rolfe who received the Junior Sportsperson award.

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