On high after Athlete of Year win

TEENAGER Luke Slemint is flying high after taking out the NSW Men’s Gymnastics Junior Levels Athlete of the Year.

More than 600 people gathered at Doltone House in Pyrmont to celebrate the local and international successes of clubs, gymnasts, coaches and officials within NSW, with The Y Bankstown also a winner, taking home the hotly contested Club Excellence in Inclusion Award.
A member of Belmore’s Australian Academy of Gymnastics, 13-year-old Luke, who has his sights set on the Brisbane Olympics in 2032, became the reigning all-around State champion in his division last year, winning gold on four apparatus at the 2023 Gymnastics NSW State Championships.
Amazed at the win and excited that “all my training paid off”, Luke said he “loves gymnastics because it’s fun, it makes you want to push harder every day to learn new skills and you get to have fun with friends every day”.
“The most special part of last year was when I went to nationals and I won it for my level,” he said.
“My favourite apparatus is floor, I just love tumbling around. It’s great to fly around in the air and do cool skills and show off to my friends.
“I’d like to see if I can go to the Olympics in 2032. It’s a dream.”
He also thanked his “amazing coaches”.
The Y Bankstown club beat out its competition following a stellar year of supporting athletes with disabilities across mainstream and disability-focused classes.
One of its notable achievements was sending gymnast Kaylen McDonald to the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, where the 18-year-old won bronze medals on pommel and vault.